It is the last night of solitude: I admire
the vase of fresh flowers on my one table
and sit up late stubbing cigarettes
into an old tin can on my porch.
The sky feels too wide for fall, too sweaty
and open, panting after a full day of sun.
I don’t think of anything but his arms, his
absence—the way it is more like a presence—
a body that walks room to room, unfolding clothes
and turning on lights.
In the morning I will wake alone,
and this cocoon will stretch, cover
my car and guide me safely to work. I do not listen
to the radio. I do not own a T.V. The world feels
made for only me, a series of stops
that rise with my need
and cease to exist once I am gone:
gas station, coffee shop, office.
The stairways take me where I need to be
and nowhere else. I am not curious.
On the way home, I will shop for shoes
and watch people eat at outdoor restaurants,
sip coffee contemplatively, cry or maybe cast a smile
in a familiar direction. The day will still be too new
for them to understand. Even I will not get it—
this new family that suffering makes of us,
this ache that feels, for a moment,
like something to cherish.