O MY SILENCE—
you saw me only,
kept separate from every other thing—
face flashing in the mirror,
the red handkerchief.
Secret lover. I’d shut the door, lean back against it and
give myself to you. Clasping my body
to your deep skin, you honored it,
its separate death.
I couldn’t wait to return to you.
Everything else was desire
you were the absence
Every cell in my body like bread, sponging
Sometimes, I was ashamed to be so richly satisfied
This was before language moved into you
or was it you who entered my words,
slipped through the door as I shut it, wanting
to keep you inside but also
give you away.
and reappear now
only when I speak, separate one word
from the next,
standing beside me whenever
I part my lips—always
we meet in public now.
How long since you’ve gazed upon my nakedness.
How long since you’ve taken me
fully disrobed and dark
into your mouth.