« Amy Katherine Cannon | Contents | Blake Lee Pate »

Derek JG Williams



A page turns each time you blink.

Your makeup, perfect.

Lips delineated from flawless

chin and cheek.

I bet you get up early—two hours

before you leave for work.

All this, for me.

The guy whose shoulder

you’re reading over

on the 9:30 train.

I’m reading the lines on your face. 

A ghost wedding dress

buried in the chest

at the foot of your bed;

a son in college; a marriage

happy, even with much

of the money gone. 

The dinner party you left late

last night, lingering on the porch,

sweat drying on your neck.

We’re both going to be late

for work today.

We share the morning.

And when you say good morning

the sound the words make

echoes back into your smile.

None of this is for me.

It’s the way things are.

Like vapor from planes

a life trails behind us.

Your voice as I ascend the steps

up on to the street.

Exhaust from buses shimmers

in the coolest part of the day.

A life trails behind us.

A dress worn once.


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