There is a white desk by a window.
Through it, cathedral and light illuminate
the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and the bars and clubs nearby.
He’s there now. He’s writing something for her.
It’s hardly a poem. Helplessness mostly, frustration.
The dozen things he needs to tell her.
No, only a few things, but they cannot be contained.
He tries, but where is the mark between what
he thinks is true and what cannot be said?
He feels as his typing slows, and rests his
wrists on the edge of the table, not because
there is a jet crossing the sky and dissolving
for a moment in the light of the statue.
It’s that she walks in without any clothes on, and
sits quietly next to him. And then lays her
head on the table, sprawls her arms across
the keyboard, and pretends to sleep.
In a while, she opens one eye, looks at him,
breathes in, and closes it again.
Then sweetly smiles.
He doesn’t want to move, wake her from her
make-believe sleep, but how is wonder expressed,
he wants to say, and that he trembles
by the whoosh of her lust and need and love,
though her words are no where to be seen,
only her black hair twisted like spilled ink on the white desk
and her nakedness against him as she breathes.
(After Ray Carver)