A pair of Jacks was your lipstick mark,
scrawled across the bedroom walls.
The other fifty cards lay floating face down
in a dish soap bubble bath.
The changing seasons leave no witness;
No jury duty or toll booth toss
through the glorious air I breathe this afternoon.
Tenderness entraps me
like toxic smoke through my neighbor’s trees.
He has been burning stacks of lumber
cut down from the tire swing.
I saw you sweep across the yard,
picking pears in your mother’s picnic gown.
You stood glorious like a lantern;
Descending cracked emerald paint,
held tight to the surface of last century.
A frozen goose in your kitchen pot,
defrosting like teenage letters in an attic box.
I can’t help but be grateful for all I have gained
through every loss.
I think there’s hope after all,
for another career
or another Fall.
But I worry for this coming Winter’s intentions.
He’ll crush our lungs with the shallowest touch,
like an evergreen
scratching at our knees.
We’ll fall in love with the other’s faults.
And we won’t come back inside until the fireplace is warm.