I’m sorry about the dishes, and have been for some time.
On your shelf, my books
begin to behave like your books.
For all our learning, my tongue remains
a blunt instrument. But whatever yours taught mine
made your teeth’s numb typography
as familiar as my own.
Like smooth feet skating
over the sidewalk framing my first home, where knotweed
usurps split pavement, every fourth slab ajar
for furtive maple roots
to sneak glimpses of passing legs.
You’ve yet to work out whether
we’re built to die alone,
though now I’m sure that absence is less fact than feeling.
Could have sworn
something used to shade that naked house down the block.
As white siding sops up evening’s deepest blue
a golden window shoots it clean through.
Samuel Burt is a poet and artist from Iowa, currently pursuing his poetry MfA at Bowling Green State University. His work may also be found in Rattle, Salt Hill, and Arc Poetry Magazine.