last seen en route from Lumsden
We have been grateful for the smallest kindnesses:
a shelf that holds up books, dry socks.
What shall we say of these characters
Typed into one computer, at an idle moment
To appear on another screen, half a world away?
A jumble of spider legs, disassembled
Into ones and zeros, traveling
From one indifferent machine to another;
Typed in Frankfurt, or Wales, or Canberra,
And skittering, disembodied, by wire or wireless
All the way here, to be reconstituted
Into the spider legs we use for letters,
Into the spiders we use for words.
This is love, in one of her guises:
One of the few requirements of love being
Sing for me, darling;
Sing for me in Saskatchewan
And I will kiss your hands:
The base of your thumb; the thenar eminence;
I want to study your hands
For years. I want to be
A distinguished professor, writing monographs
About the way your ring finger creases
When it's bent so that one's lips
Can brush its knuckle:
I will become the world's foremost authority
On the taste of the webbing between your first
And second finger, on the right.
I will hold your hand
As the sky darkens and the world
Complexifies into destruction,
Tracking each line, each scar, each tiny hair
And counting the time
Pours across the northern prairie,
Too much light for such a shallow saucer,
It spills at the edges, and droplets land
So far south as my upturned face.
Darling, try not to worry. You haven't,
But I have seen the string of your heart
Blazing with blue light, coruscating
Like a fuse. There is no time to worry,
Even if there were need.