A time, more than a breath, more than me
moving into darkness to begin.
The husky brush of your voice against my ear
a puzzle, unblocked and shifted. Swings
still moving, a postage stamp drifts to the floor.
Those cold weather blooms, short-lived and tentative
and I let my breath pool, feel its fragility.

If I were carving the truth from apple trees
I’d be careful of the scar I leave.
A slip of the knife, cutting through years
or turned on a burl back at me
my hand bleeding. I’ll wait
to wolf sandwiches from the basket,
keep the cold startled gaze for you.

Keep your distance, never mind.

Note: “Distance” is a response of sorts to John Ashbery’s poem “The Problem of Anxiety”

Frances Boyle
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