What I Have Left


For Anjuli

How do I explain what the water here 
tastes like, or how loud the ocean can 
mourn when you need it to?   

Your name embossed on stones, street  
signs, the faces of dropped pennies. I need  
to know what keeps you up at night.  
 
Though we can’t feel it, we are sustained by  
the hurried molecular bumping of our bodies— 
every piece propelled, replaced, regrown.  

Physicists love to remind us that we never  
actually touch anything. Electron repulsion  
is too strong. We are separated by this  
unfathomably small distance. Kiss is an illusion.  

In a universe that is ever-expanding, your  
spectrum breathes red, reads alarm. I worry  
that you will forget my fragility, how little I  
am made of. 

This is the equation of the body—to be set  
in motion. We work our own magic, break  
it all down to science.   

We are born for this. To carry what we love  
across the distance, knowing full well that we  
cannot contain it.   

What lingers after us is small, unyielding.  
A question in the eye, delicate thought at  
the edge of our wanting. What we ask for,  
in the dark, we become.