Fragment II (from The Yellow House)

what comes after this moment
after my fingers lose contact

from the back of her hand?
it is winter outside

because the silence tells me
and I lose track of day and night

my mother, who is 3000 miles away,
wants to plan a future trip

that will hold off an unbearable loneliness
and all I can do is nod

back to the hand
that becomes more familiar

and invisible each day–
like the sound of Phillip Glass’s imagination

caught between leaving
and being left behind

what is this life where I kill
before a life can be taken away from me

I once told a stranger next to me
that I knew something that matters

but it was a mistake
born of wanting

I am on another bus
on another night

in a city that can’t know my name
or the texture thick like sugar

of the space that we hold between us
that grows, unrepentant,

each time
we make a decision to live.