Loving you was like romancing air, nothing
to butt up against
except your charm.
Orbiting each other, the magnetic attraction,
the white space between.
When I was pawing the ground, head bent
ready to charge,
you were lithe as a matador, your silken cape
How you always knew, even before I did—
Stop yelling at me! said with a twinkle
to my tight lips.
You read my silences like braille.
Some days, you played the bull
and I would flee, pretending to be a wood nymph.
Your winks and jokes tickled my nose.
When I sneezed, you quivered through me
from scalp to soles.
Like the wasabi and the crow,
how it shook itself, feathers ruffling
after taking a beakful of green paste from the trash,
it returned again and again, shuddering
each time like the first. How I felt when you nibbled my earlobe.
Alone on the beach under an empty sky, it all comes clear.
You promised me vastness—
even before your irrevocable exit.
Now that you are safely dead,
I unlock my jaw—
teach my voice to roar.
Published in Coal Hill Review, Issue 29, Spring 2022.