Home Alone, June
I’m bent over the cutting board slicing tomatoes
with a serrated knife—deciding if I should leave you.
You’ve taken the kids camping, set them loose
to rabbit around fields of fireweed and dragonflies,
to exercise the myths in their lean muscles.
Here at home, the air is clotted with the sound of geese—
the blare of their brass valved throats echoes in the near-empty house.
The coyotes are hunting me again, their lithe whines wandering in,
quick to catch the scent, the instinctual dread of the domestic,
of being caught in a ravel of homespun rooms.
I’m thinking about last night, when I sat across from you
at the kitchen table and watched the old man in your eyes
gather space in his hands like rope, like netting, like women’s hair—
wife, spouse—tonight I’ll lie awake, emptied of these names,
they’ll drain from me like rain off eaves, into a rivulet of words
rinsed of their meanings, refined into nameless sound streaming
through a culvert under the road, past the stifling white houses
and overgrown gardens, ’til arriving at a river where
an old woman wades, welcoming the outfall.