Do not look for ink, a wild iris, book
jacket or fish, but the space between
button holes on a worn shirt,
the waitress, her fingers touching
your fingers, her veins,
her dress, your eyes, the plate.
Think of the words you recited, their order
on that crisp morning they rose
like flame burning dry leaves; they waited
like breath hanging in front of your closed mouth
the morning of the first frost, the morning
your boots shattered the grass, you breathed
a cloud that lingered, expanded, faded.
Think of it as a kettle’s voice. Think of it
as the window crack sealed with tape.
From the poetry collection Fence Line (BkMk Press 2004)
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Curtis Bauer
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse