Given time

I think the path of loneliness is my destiny, she says,

a glissando rise from the more ordinary banter

that fills the car, chatter about dogs and farms

where they roam, love tucked behind the flop

of ears, beneath the long soft belly.

She keeps going, a stream, an overpass, every thought

carrying us further from the one that snagged me

and I want to say, “Wait, let’s rest here,” measure

the peace of acceptance, the surety

of knowing, though I am not so certain this

is where the story ends, hers or mine, though

I have inhabited aloneness, with lonely

too barren a place to hold me, too dim

an arc for what can fill the heart.

For days, the ghost of her pronouncement

— freighted, masked — trails me, a body

stitched with silence.

And I wonder whether this is bravery,

being with what is, or safety, a boundary

that leashes risk, refuses

what trembles or sparks.

I think of that dark animal, longing,

the way it waits, shadow in skin where want

is an ache that startles, slips

inside a rain-thick night, leaves its questions

heavy at the door.

I like the curl of them, the threat:

Get too close and the mystery

might unravel itself, scald

your raven mouth.

Skirt the sting, and forfeit

your treasure.

But maybe desire — rootless,

vast — needs the slow upwelling,

slack embrace — weeping shudder

of still here, still


still open

to your





4 thoughts on “Given time

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