In tendrils of cigarette smoke, listening to night sounds–
crickets and moon birds, we hear the rustling leaves moved by winds
in far off storms, the candle flickering as you leave it.
Sweet, delicate memories wan in the youth you somehow
try to dispel under the guise of advancing age
and a fortitude we cannot be sure we really have.
You talk about love that never takes its grace, how the waiting over
a decade for its return to soften heartbreak’s edges doesn’t come.
You understand he can never be the man to make us whole.
And in this silence, we face each other briefly,
drunk and with the knowledge that the tragedies witnessed
in our collective lives could have never been, that we might not
have had to spend them dreaming or wanting or waiting
for an easiness to find its way to the lines on our faces,
into the creases of our quiet, longing moments.
The pans clank in the kitchen with familiar sounds,
you mumbling to yourself like the old days, trying to busy notions
from your mind; to strike out those sad remembrances you know
need putting back in the cabinet. I stand here small and alone,
watch the light dance off the Windex bottle, wishing I could
wipe away the past without leaving evident streaks of knowing.