Six Months

Another one
passes. Halfway around
without him. The heat

of late summer
was closing in
that morning. Now late winter

hints at thaw
before another day
closes just a little bit

later than the one
before. Still not used to it.

Startled and chilled
by moments of awareness
of nonexistence. Or,

is that it? He exists
in the route I take
each morning to work,

in the choices
I make when I am truly
awake, in the words

I retrieve—sometimes with excruciating
slowness. In the messages
I hear in that February

wind. He’s there
in the backdrop
to an overripe

moon. There propelling
me to imagine the next
full one. Then again—

an infinitesimal speck,
how can I know? And that’s it—

the spiritual collision
he would have me lean into.

Ellipses

. . . do I count them
before or after
this verbal thievery? If I live

in the past, may as well revel
in this day come nightfall.
Twenty years is a long time to be

entranced by a voice. The voice. It stops
my soul from deflating
under self-reflexive pressure. The voice

that fills a dark room as if
it’s been doing it
since long before I was born. This is

the voice that invites me
to stop leaving out
the moment we’re in now. Who knew.

Before the SUV Almost Ran Me Over

For Sheri

A child takes
a piano
lesson upstairs, strong
brew purchased below,
the teacher sings. I wish

she wouldn’t. Then it stops. Newspaper
pages rustle—an old
fashioned sound. All the text
messages I don’t hear
take me from this pivot

point. An elbow
aches, and still I will sling
a bag over the same
shoulder to risk
intersections to get to you.

But can I meet the streets
of Cincinnati
where traffic accidents
hit too close
to home? I only hope to recognize her

soul gently touching my arm
when I look both ways.