James Sallis The 2River View, 6.4 (Summer 2002)


               First there was the bird. Then the sound
of your voice beside me: I'm leaving.

               You left, and I felt loneliness scraping out
the inside of my bones. My brown shoes in the rug
were abandoned tanks.

               A new tenant, age will have moved into his
eyes. Mother will have laid out blue cups and saucers
in the front room. They will sit with heavy arms and
smile. Where once we lay on new sheets in my old room
without speaking or touching.

               Light dies around the door and he turns away.
He quarrels with sullen men who govern taxis down
boulevards of water.

               First there was the bird. And now another,
calling to it through forests of pine.

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