by Sara Moore Wagner
Back when we were just friends,
you’d suck a cigarette down to the butt
in one breath. Your breath was a siphon,
was a canal, was a rabbit on hind legs
in the garden, and I thought you might
take me like that, down to the end
of what I’m supposed to be: burning
and squeaking and useless.
Now, I watch you wake every morning,
watch the light come over your pores,
the way our daughter finds a porous
rock in the garden and calls it meteor,
and you say yes that’s right. How
your father always kept you held
out to the sky on his open palm.
He’d say look at what you could be—
Still, you chose me with your hand
so soft in mine. You never made me
stay, just laid out my best dress, folded
into the shape of a nest, just filled
my cup with blueberry tea. Even my hair
is different with you. It’s finer. It hangs.
I’ve learned to name the rocks, too,
to watch the sky for stars, to see you
for what you are. And yes, I am drawn
into you as if into a lung, but you won’t
let me love you like that.
Last updated September 19, 2022