Give me your hand tonight,
your capable will improbably twinned
to mine. I think perhaps
I’ve always known to find you.
If there is a moon, try not to remember it
the comfortable reliance on sickled convention
when we are not
reliable. If I should lift my mouth
just this once
try to forgive me. Don’t look
to me for answers unless you’re willing
to abide your own reflection. I cannot hide
the way I see you now.
Instead, look up, count to ten.
Give me your hand
and nothing else of you. Look at all
our terrible stars and do not name them.
His ear against my breast, he says he hears
the sea. I list the things it’s taken, but he knows.
He hears, but I hold everything a shell does now:
nothing. I bend two spoons, begin to build the ellipsis
of a crab. They are empty, too, the bowls,
the cupboards and the drainboard, and they can go
to dust. I am thinking of how water layers paper,
how it can’t return to trunk or branch. I’m thinking
of another reclamation, cellulose in compost,
how worms through kitchen scraps sound
like nothing until you bend close. Maybe my chest
is teeming, writhing. He says wave and shore.
I say the wave is an illusion, taken up into itself
again and again, that shore or coast is a matter of
perspective. Both of us could swim through
the arteries of a blue whale. All our lovers
could fit on its tongue, sleep cold in the vault
of its mouth. It could be like us, I say, breaching
and easing, could be full of damp societies,
the low thrum of love calls or storm warnings