I lack the necessary distance.
For this reason alone, you continue to be
the words that elude my pen.


Each time I stand ready to exit
the pads of your fingers, your palms
touch the staid swell of my belly.


Maybe we are that different.
A boyshaped woman with a sharp tongue
never would have kept my attention.


Certainly not one with sloe-eyes and snake hips
who only cries sometimes—reflected in a mirror
no one else sees—who smiles little and laughs even less.


I can’t deny that my limbs become tinder,
that my bones become flint.  You light
my mind afire with a whisper.


“I’m ready to go,” I say.  Your sombrous eyes
ask a thousand questions at once.
Does she mean I’m ready to go:


To the store, or to bed to sleep, or
to leave me now—for another, or
to leave me forever—as in death.