You viewed the dust on the windowsill
as an emblem of stagnation.
Something was collecting in emptiness.
Before the last sip of tea, if the rain’s
smell shifts you backwards,
or sunlight teases your face as you lie in bed,
you will think of his thumb stroking
your cheek. Of your own solidity,
discovered in the darkness.
And there’s a word for it:
yearning. And there’s a word
for what you bring to your yearning
when you rinse the teacup,
when you walk home from the party,
when you gather
yourself from the sheets.
It has something to do with strength.
It has something to do (some things do)
with him. Every year
you unfold the uncertainties and instead
of trying to place them in neat piles
you hold each one in your palm
separately, tracing it with your fingers
like an uncovering, like a resignation,
saying, I will take you for what you are.