Still maples in windless cold.
Still picturing your shoulders shrugging out of an unbuttoned shirt, then hunching forward to remove your bra.
Lights we are given, lights we give away.
Snow on the chicken netting.
Snow on the flagstones.
The silence of three a.m. on our little Main Street.
Going back to what we name the beginning, looking for clues to what happened after, finding this and that without any real sense of how to contextualize it, let alone let it mean something, or anything.
The east-side neighbors talking at the grill, their voices floating through glass, language resolving to nothing specific but still somehow a comfort.
One settles the metaphysics.
The body is a kind of flower, a kind of suffering, a kind of forgetting, a kind of giving.
A kind of consenting.
Saying no to a blowjob on the couch, no big deal, my mind elsewhere but later wondering if something else is going on and if so what and is it beginning because I am ready at last to begin.
Outside at night after the rain passes, spare moonlight on both horses, temperatures dropping.
Shivering in you, lost without you, but still here holding up my end, the altar lonesome and filling with rain.
Saffron skies at dawn.
Memories of my mother's goulash with egg noodles, almost always on Fridays, fried chicken with spaghetti, a favorite of my father's always made after a midday phone call on which my mother didn't say much, and on Sundays roast beef with gravy and homemade bread and the conversational mandates at which I excelled until my excellence became transgressive and the many long silences began.
Somehow now understanding you as hill country, rolling pastures on which sheep graze, as when in Ireland I walked a long time alone, guitar in hand, thinking what in time would become the idea of you.
Hiding in you, hurting in you.
Slicing apples at six a.m., layering them in pans with cinnamon and butter, pouring pancake batter over and baking it at 350 for half an hour or so, timing it for when Chrisoula and the girls come in, cold and hungry, happy with the gift I struggle to bring forth, over and over and over.