“There are questions
we refuse to ask or answer.”
- Tarfia Faizullah
All year, I have listened to the absent
music of your hands. I have listened
to the glacial promenade of icebergs
melting. I have listened both for the love
of you and love of the earth you love.
I kept track of the blues for no reason
other than you were under the same sky.
I could call you and tell you to look,
look outside: that is me loving you.
The moon, gibbous; a beguiling:
that is me loving you. You, you. All my metaphors
in service of you, my body’s metronome
ticking in time to your voice, my favorite
song. Light diffracts through my bedroom
window differently now. How austere
the headboard is, splintering into my neck.
All this to say, I have stood at the edge
of desire and felt your retreat.
In all my tongues,
I have no word for this.
Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer is a poet from Maryland. Their work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Grist, Memorious, The Roanoke Review, Glass, and L’Éphémère Review. They were a poetry semifinalist for the 2017 St. Lawrence Book Award and the 2019 and 2020 recipient of the Bryn Mawr Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize.