Evening Voices
Mothers call the names 
of their children 
into the late evening. 
Their hard voices echo 
in the streets. 
We sit on the edge 
of the bed after sex, 
in the silence 
within the silence. 
Happy words rush to my lips 
but turn back swiftly. 
I wish for the past, the days 
we lived together and loved. 
Remember hours spent wading in 
the calm lake? The day you read 
forever in my palm? You say 
nothing exists beyond our 
own breathing in this room, 
but I know there is a chest of drawers, 
a bureau and lamp, comfort 
in the stillness cooled 
by dusk's final breaths. 
We are startled to hear your name 
drift through the window, 
some woman calling her son home 
for dinner. Your body reacts: 
the head lifts, the neck stretches 
like that of some frightened bird. 
Should you go to her — as if 
the voice were your own mother shouting 
through years of grief? Quickly 
you pull me back onto the dirty sheets, 
deep into the rage
of your lips and hands and tongue.