The neighbors are fast asleep.
has been anchored
at the edge of the mind.
It won’t set sail. Not tonight.
Not while you’re away.
Daylight arrives agog
babbling like a matchmaker’s clogs
running along cobble-stones.
We say good morning
even though you speak back to me
from another country
your voice barely reaching
like dry leaves falling off tall trees
over telephone wires
and rooftops, over this wind
that seems bound to keep them
On the street, a spirit tree
garlanded with marigolds, candles
and colored ribbons.
The white squirrels are on it again,
the robins and a caterpillar.
Everything is reaching up.
The ivy on the porch wall has died
but life crawls on it
black ants, red ants, small ants.
It takes the black ant four times longer
to crawl the same distance
the red ant crawls.
Now the evening moves in with tiny bites
on my legs and arms
and a train rushes past the hills
above my window.
Cicadas hush tonight
only a pair of relentless wings
throbs against the screen
wanting to get in.
“Long Distance” is from Bread on Running Waters, (Fenway Press, 2013).