Strands of hair led me to find you
in your bedroom—
small and seeming smaller
for your invisible body,
burrowed head
in an array of sheets.

You tried to pull out
every last tress
but that would have taken you
a lifetime.

So just a few fell
to the kitchen floor.
Enough for clues.
But not to find you bald
any time soon.

I lay beside you,
buried your head in my hands.
Strands of hair fell across my chest,
almost as many as yesterday.

The Relationship Will Not Be Resumed

An icy sign of greeting fixed—
a convention of course—
winter, for us, set in long ago.
It’s okay. You can withdraw your hand.

Good manners is my shield.
But if you’re trying
to gauge me by my fingers
then you’re looking through the wrong end.

Yes, come out onto the balcony.
Maybe the city will drown us out.
I chose it. It is meant for me.
And, once again, it has materialized.

So we can resume our deep freeze
in view, in earshot of the great thaw.
The action before you is not meant for us.
You can take it from my cold shoulder.

At the Marriage Counselor’s Office

Discouraged by weight of life,
and the no longer lightness of feeling,
I lose track of what I’m doing now,
and the heart, feeling that it no longer belongs,
makes its exit, on that unceasing quest
for something or someone to arouse it.

I’m snapped back to this location,
by your face’s pale pink underside,
the sound from your mouth,
a scattering of words
that drop like parachutes,
flop like silences between us.

We’re here to articulate trials endured
in hope a contact of words and unforced smiles
can heal, can be treasured going forward,
a rite culled from our psychoanalyst’s playbook.

But our thoughts and tongues
once made connection easily.
And we journeyed a great distance
to achieve something of worth.
Now we barely recognize shapes
through smoke and fire,
look for evidence amidst ambiguous outlines.

A true attempt to rally
would require that we face one another,
honestly, openly,
but your fingers can’t quite fix your hair,
and mine won’t stop jangling
the change in my pocket.

This is a room.
There are people in it.
It feels like space
impossible to fill.