But here we are, here where the page ends, hidebound,
hand-held and welled with sleep. Morning. Little left
to say, so sing or let cling words like late leaves, like
children. Always, eventually, the last time; all fathers
someday set their daughters on their feet to never
again pick them up. They flock your skin, nevers, as
feathers, slip the water from wing; pale after touch gives
up to colour. So what is there to do, then, but keep
touching? It’s not too much to ask. To leave just one
choice unmade, still warm, a last page unread, a wild
wish wild and unwaited for, one small promise kept
back. Last night’s rain pearls spruce and milkweed. But
don’t wake. Not just yet. I’m glazing our will-not-bes
in long, last syllables until they’re all smooth and semiprecious.
I’ll set stones along your body. And when
you wake, leave lightly. When you leave, come back.