i burn chamomile
in our den,
lull the embers
with the heel of my thumb,
sniff the sullen warmth,
its soft tickle
walking in, fingers on my shoulder,
to read another book.
the sun quells brightness,
reverts us to lamps.
breathless, we are quiet.
I think of the Davenport home
& how we searched the chain-linked mile
of pond for an alligator never found, or named.
i put your necklace back on when we left Miami.
Miami, grey as before, & still no laughter,
that same desire for a colder warm
in what you call
my heart. i don’t know
what it is. the Atlantic follows,
its bulbous yearning for us
to make waves, ruffle the salt-mist
where we were sandwiched between
two skies, fishing from our kayaks.
i will never get used to the light.
home is my ever-barefoot sidewalk &
the blister built callouses
i indulge in. i make myself
here & there. Detroit makes itself
bigger for us to excuse
claustrophobia. Cincinatti is an
inhale of rusted sweat, exhale
of brick demeanor.
i read you in glances: you haven’t moved.
the page is different every time.
i try not to shift
unless you do,
from where you want