joy in the day's being done, however
clumsily, and in the ticked-off lists,
the packages nestling together,
no one home waiting for dinner, for
you, no one impatient for your touch
or kind words to salve what nightly
rises like heartburn, the ghost-lump feeling
that one is really as alone as one had feared.
One isn't, not really. Not really. Joy
to see over the strip mall darkening
right on schedule a neon-proof pink
sunset flaring like the roof of a cat's mouth,
cleanly ribbed, the clouds laddering up
and lit as if by a match struck somewhere
in the throat much deeper down.