This ivory in my bed
stares straight ahead
when I kiss her.
To come alive,
to move or kiss me back,
I try to convince her
with my lips.
Maybe Aphrodite will see
me with my fair lady,
and take pity.
But this stone doesn’t
smooth with wear,
it crumbles and falls away.
I’m writing this in my head
somewhere between Belleville and Oshawa
as Leonard Cohen croons to me
on the stereo about missing something.
I’m trying to put this
together in verse;
it’s the only way that makes sense.
Maybe because the songs he sings are too good,
or I’m still affected by the last time I had
strep throat and we read
Susan Musgrave poems in bed.
So much for swearing
that I’ll never write like this again.
I wonder why she ends her phrases
the way she does,
about whether her titles come from
those clever little moments,
Maybe I can figure out how they do it
and I can express what it felt like to hug
her before leaving,
about how I didn’t realize how hard I was
doing it until I let go and felt her
She wouldn’t admit that she’d miss me
until I did it first. She had
said it more than me, last time, you see.
She had paid it forward,
now it was time for me to pay it back.