I don’t know what to make of this word,
though I cross the distance between my bedroom and the kitchen
without feeling it at all.
Though when my wife winks at me
or kicks my ankles underneath the table
I try to look as though I understand,
and turn my head as though
it will walk by.
“It musn’t see you this way,” she says
and I put out my cigarette in a hurry.
When the wind is so strong
we have to run against it, she tells me,
“It is right behind us,”
but I feel
light, a rumour
no one can catch.
Sometimes my wife and I perform.
One stands over a chair, the other
falls with eyes inquiring.
One opens their arms to the sky,
the other cries,
My God, society’s so beautiful.
Because she believed, she would dream
and remembered her dreams.
Society, too, comes in sleep,
and I must listen when she wakes
because I, too, am hoping
there is something there.
Strange things happen when we talk.
A war, say, somewhere far away,
the suicide of someone who was not
until that moment.
Every time the same
surprise at our inability to express,
the same fear of the loneliness
that words make, the same
cold feet sensation.
“Believe me,” she says,
and I believe her,
and I hand her socks so
society will not see her so exposed.