"i wasn't sure," you say, your lips

folding over themselves like origami, thinking

of the paper swan or lotus flower they could be.

you're never sure, you're always thinking, always

reaching across the bed but never

asking for anything. i watch you, trying

to identify you, trying

to locate you, trying

to put my hand on your chest but

your ribs are a gate of hot metal.

sometimes i wish i was you, or part of you,

or part of july, or part of an atlas,

or the dusty, fragile pages of a bible. I touch

your mouth, teeth that look so familiar they feel like

mine. I whisper into you, to tell you that you are

just like a tumbleweed, or the hum of

an old car, or a fist, or maybe a hand clutching

onto something. you tell me about your mother

and i tell you about mine, and what side of the

kitchen the sink was on when i was growing up,

and that there was ivy that grew on the side

of the garage.

much later, sleep comes, and we don't do anything

to stop it. in the morning, i'll look at you

and see myself.