When you tried to stare

into my eyes

and hear what I said

when you rolled

over in bed

and clutched me like a child

clutching a doll

when you looked at the picture

in the magazine

and whispered: this

must be you

when you turned and the moon

shot out of your eyes

when you floated in the field

danced on the freezing

bathroom floor

when you stirred the soup and claimed:

this is the best dish I’ve made

when we stayed up all night

at the typewriter

writing reports—or was it


when we spoke the same words

at the same time: wasn’t it isn’t it

how cruel

when I cried all morning

and you never asked:

what could be wrong?

when my aunt died and you paced around

the clotted pond twenty times

and wouldn’t come in

when you fell asleep your whole body

dead to my touch

when you cringed at my voice


what could I have shouted?

when you went away