In the bath I look up and see the brown moth
pressed like a pair of unpredictable lips
against the white wall. I heat up
the water, running as much hot in as I can stand.
These handfuls over my shoulder—how once
he pulled my head against his thigh and dipped
a rivulet down my neck of coldest water from the spring
we were drinking from. Beautiful mischief
that stills a moment so I can never look
back. Only now, brightest now, and the water
never hot enough to drive that shiver out.
But I remember solitude—no other
presence and each thing what it was. Not this raw
fluttering I make of you as you have made of me
your watch-fire, your killing light.
Tess Gallagher, “Now That I Am Never Alone” from Moon Crossing Bridge. Copyright © 1992 by Tess Gallagher. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org
Source: Moon Crossing Bridge
(Graywolf Press, 1992)