Tucked in, a woman hears the night
trucks trafficking the Interstate, hauling
free-range chickens and aspirin. On the dark
there is reliance. And on the mental lengths
of rope that tether disparate events
and make them next-of-kin.
Who can consider a river and not think
of letting things run their course, the rocks
in the bed and how much between them.
Once in a crowded lecture hall
the celebrated teacher pronounced the sting
of love "the pain of being two."
Later that year she saw him walking in the rain
looking wildly diminished, a feeble old man
in a mouse-colored coat. Astonishing,
that friends she'd bathed, or cried with,
still breathe in this worldó just now sleeping
or eating an omelette or touring ancient towns.