Ours; Delayed; Shadows, Saddle Canyon

Each step stitches them together
as they walk the dog, each breath at night
winds them, together, into sleep’s cocoon.
Even the fights, sharpening
the blades of anger and accusation:
knives side by side
in a drawer. Her clumsiness
so familiar he knows when to reach
beneath the bowl she lifts.

When he sees me,
he says a word that meant something to us,
the name of a planet. We camped by a lake
and read out loud until it was too dark to see.
It was already over then, the sky
borrowing its color from the fire,
then both out. Still I wanted his hand,
to wind his fingers into mine.

At night he and his wife lock the doors,
extinguish the lights and turn to each other.
I am a conversation never had.

We had a time
that was ours. He held my new kitten
inside his shirt. We threaded roads to mining towns
in his truck. When he touched me,
I couldn’t believe—

I couldn’t believe my luck.