I remember how you spoke—as if every word
were water in a desert. You didn’t want
to go to Denny’s with me that day. I knew this,
but I was so foolishly happy just to sit
across from you and your two eggs
over easy with a crisp of bacon. Love,
the abnegation. You liked the virga I
showed you – appearing out of nowhere
to darken a sky. I don’t miss you exactly,
but I glimpse you often in the gestures
of men I will never know – their regrettable
tattoos, deep knowledge of bridges.
What is worse than almost or not quite?
You, my tiny Pluto, all glittery with hard-won ice.
Consider the tangent—the odd and terrible
fact that it draws closer. A stillness like finding
“starlight” in the middle of a grocery list.
Sheila Black is the author of five poetry collections most recently Radium Dream (Salmon Poetry, Ireland). Poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Blackbird, The Birmingham Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She is a co-editor of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). She is a co-founder of Zoeglossia, a non-profit to build community for poets with disabilities.