When I walk in my house I see pictures,
bought long ago, framed and hanging
—de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore—
that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters
of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round,
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,
a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,
a dead dog’s toy—valueless, unforgettable
detritus that my children will throw away
as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips
with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens,
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.
When love empties itself out,
it fills our bodies full.
For an hour we lie twining
pulse and skin together
like nurslings who sigh
and doze, dreamy with milk.
Snow rises as high as my windows. Inside by the fire
my chair is warm, and I remain compounded of cold.
It is unthinkable that we will not touch each other again.
As the barn’s bats swoop, vastation folds its wings
over my chest to enclose my rapid, impetuous heart.
It is ruinous that we will not touch each other again.
Ten miles away, snow falls on your clapboard house.
You play with your children in frozen meadows of snow.