Drawing by Judith Wolfe

Two Poems


      Sociable and easy to be with, but
      not used to thinking well of others,

      he is less cynical than one would suppose
      given his history of mistreatment.

      He tests the ground for solidity
      then stands in his place.

      Having survived in solitude,
      he is certain of God but prays alone.

      He searches in kisses
      for some connection,

      not noticing
      she wants to read his eyes.

      Waking without pleasure.
      Loving arms reach towards him,

      but the world is cold for him,
      by habit.

      He is ready to work
      not to play

      and watches, vigilant
      against the coming day.


      She welcomes hello
      with eyelashes that blink
      in waves
      and I am the shore,
      the resting place for her smile.

      She shrinks
      with fragile breath
      bolstered by a long silver cord,
      as if connected to heaven.
      God makes oxygen machines.

      She says bye
      but my stomach says
      and I wonder when I return
      if she'll be here.

      Empty space
      will wave to me.
      A hurricane
      with a magnitude of years.
      And the richter scale of sobs
      will be shooting off the charts.

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