The Blind Woman Dictates a Poem to Her Love–Tobi Alfier

I used to know how you looked:

strong arms, wrists like a deckhand

on trawlers, your nets reaping tons

from the sea. Arms that could go ten

rounds with anyone in the ring—

you still have the belts and trophies.


The back of your neck dark red

from the sun. No hat could protect you,

only a hooded parka in snow, when your thighs

became tough as telephone poles

in Texas, relentless and intense

against twisters and hail.


The white of your covered and protected

torso. Narrow-waisted, ribbed from sit-ups

you do each night, the arrow of light brown

hair guiding me to another place I love,

the fiery part of you—the reason I learned

to always leave the lights on with you.


And your kind face. No words to describe

the ruddy intelligence brooding

behind thoughtful eyes the color of seaglass,

if collected from glaciers, white-blue and bold

as they showed without doubt how much

I was loved, no matter the amount we debated.


I can still hear your sit-ups, your counts as they

get short of breath and then breathless. Of course

I can feel your arms around me, hear your whispers

stroke my many insecurities. But the lights—absent

as color on a moonless night. How frost hides

the beauty of a mountain stream, so much is lost.

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