this is the green and brown of the trees as we smeared out against the december sky. how my mouth filled with the aching taste of blue as we learned to fly: your wings shaded like the jay you rescued in my front yard. mine spanning out like those of the albatross .
this is the way i have rolled you in my mouth and found you sour.
this is the way the hair on your chest sweeps along the ribs, looking like a flock of geese in flight.
this is the corner of my eye where you flash flannel plaid in the peripheary of my vision.
this is my reflection in the glass of your sunroom doors, pale and insubstantial with my face warped by the glasses weft.
this is the rush of wind as the hawk falls towards its prey. this is the silence of a wolf in the undergrowth. this is the clack your claws make on the linoleum as you come up behind me while i am making potato salad.
this is a lonely night in the kitchen with only a lamp on. i will remember this in a radiator popping at my feet. i will remember this as the dull sound that drifts in the window as in the backyard you carve a cave out of the night. it is winter. a drift is forming on the sill. your paws track snow when you make your way in, early in the morning. i am sitting at the table playing solitaire. you ask me what’s to eat as you settle into the chair across from me.
this is your hand splayed in my chest hair, your knees bending mine. i will remember this in the stunned seconds i wake up in. i will remember this in you breathing deep and even, clutching me. my fingers follow your spine, a line of breadcrumbs.
this is a cricket’s song that only i can hear. a chorus of a thousand thousand calling out in a wash of silver.
this is the rush of startled quail bursting out of the long grass.
this is the way you’ve lost the past tense, sloughed it off like a snake’s skin and left it in my bedroom. a pile in the middle of the rug.
this is the clatter of your engine, the unique tick of your piston’s pump. in my dreams, i am blinded by your headlights as your engine brattles behind them. each blade of grass, each brick of the driveway leaps out in sharp relief. i will remember this in urgency.
this is the quiet hour of the night where you seek me out. your snout guides you true to me where you nuzzle against the warmth of my flesh.
this is the scrape of metal against the inside of my ribcage.
this is the letter i mailed:
when i say you approach me, do i not mean
that my understanding of your hand
comes against your understanding of my back?
the wake my fingers leave trailing across your chest
is sentences in your mind.
when i say i miss you, do i not mean
that i have not seen the particular aperture of your pupil
in quite some time?