there are certain quiets
that can only happen in the yawn of august:
the unspoken eulogy
of paper-machete earthworms on a walkway;
the reconciliation of a misplaced
kiss and a puckered dimple;
the hollow bellow of breath against earlobe.
they are not quite the quiet of absence,
more like the shape of a cavity,
a salvaging of space in hopes of meaning,
or answers, or the right questions to ask, even.
this, i imagine, is how it will sound
once you are gone.
i suspect moments like these:
when i listen for the sandy nestle
of your beard against my cheek,
or check between couch cushions
for the lingering murmurs you tucked
in my ear before sleep.
on the nights of those muted relapses,
i will recall the firefly –
who, in cupped hands,
wails. his small howl cannot be heard
over the breeze that brings the good
goosebumps before the bad ones.
the wind whispers the reminder
of a chicago winter,
and, in the hazy lighting of my memory,
the bug’s moans sound a bit like a prayer
coming from a girl’s clasped hands.