Absence

You rise before dawn to begin leaving.
Sounds arrive from varied points of origin:
a rustle of shirts, the shuffle of papers.

All night long, I listened to jumbled words
slip from your dreams of renewal, your endless
leaving and arrival.

With one knee, you open the bedroom door,
a mug in each hand. In a moment, you’ll hold me
as close as if one of us had been lost.

I lift my coffee out of the way, trying not to spill.
You say, I’ll call you when I get there
and the front door falls shut, key turning in the lock.

I wait for you to turn back to retrieve my muffled
answer, lips at your ear naming everything you missed.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Poetry Friends.

Cheryl Snell is the author of Prisoner’s Dilemma and five other collections of poetry, as well as two novels, Shiva’s Arms and Rescuing Ranu. Her latest poetry collection, Geometries, is out now from Moria Books. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in many online and print journals, including Canopic Jar, Red River Review, and Mixitini Matrix. She has had work chosen for a Best of the Net anthology, The Centrifugal Eye’s 5th Anniversary Anthology and other anthologies. She manages a blog called Scattered Light Light, and plays a mean classical piano.

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3 Responses to Absence

  1. Loukia says:

    Wow. Just wow. Because this captures it exactly and I can completely relate.

  2. sanford3 says:

    such a great visual you always leave your reader with!

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