My Lover Vows to Follow Me Even After He Leaves Me


by Anne Barngrover

That winter, I stirred sugar and cream. I cut your hair

            and counted spoons, tamed the river birds
                      into umbrellas and taught the dog to sit

for a piece of apple. I wanted to unmake a fox earth

            into a home. You thanked me a little less
                      every day, never saw my love-scatter

skunking off like shingles. As a child, I played a hiding

           game as if I were the smallest creature,
                      training my eye to spot places where

I’d disappear if I needed to flee. Too late for you

           to track me down. Where would you find
                      me now? In booths, in burrows, an attic,

a woodpile, your pocket, the milk jug, under bridges,

           under porches, under a moss-eaten log?
                      If trust is to hem your promises

into my jacket lining like folded dollars during

           an ice storm, then I have been trusting all my life.
                      I could vanish in a white rain.

I am trying to sluice your words from my clothes,

           sodden with ink. I’ve been meaning to tell you:
                      I cannot comprehend your changing ways—

from balm to shovel, from padlock to light snow.

The moment I look back, I sour and see again

           your lips shaping the words

I will follow you, each syllable tender as teeth.

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To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
― Archibald Macleish (via cultureofresistance)

(Source: lucifelle)

396 notes