If I bend my body away from the table slightly,
the sun can pass by me and shine through
the smooth surface of
my lover’s words
to the fish swimming beneath them.
Are the words bait, or are the words food?
if this is not important,
even if there is a cord at the end of a moment
that we pull with our teeth when we get there,
I still would not choose to come back here
to this earth where things happen in a predictable order.
Yesterday, with the door closed,
my back pressed against it,
the sound of the day was a blessed sound.
And later, something small
and still almost unforgivable,
in the same room with us.
I am pushing my words around, neatly dressed,
in a stroller. I am feeling a little important.
I have some concerns: I am negotiating the stairs,
the next doorway, the slant of the sun.
I am by necessity thinking ahead
to a meal or a sweater or fatigue.
When I came in from the ocean
my lover was talking to a woman on a rock.
I watched them making up their little
singing a cappella for a moment,
and who could blame
the natural order of things. But still
shell in my hand becomes ridiculous so quickly.
And if it’s true that I am imminently
a song of despair, then show me some other way
to read the tide.
from Southern Poetry Review