She could refuse time, arrest the tree
before its fall. Go back to the moment
when she was crossing the quad
with her bag of groceries, relishing
the emptiness of the campus
in late November. When she stood
between one allée of linden trees
and the next, lifted up her head
to take in the plaza which opened up
like a cathedral. Her eyes climbing
the steps to the massive dome
of Low Library, following the path
that cuts across lawns to the ordered
progress of Butler Hall’s neo-classical
columns. She could stay in this world
in which the architect has worked
to maintain regularity and correctness:
She will stand there every day
if she has to, even though she knows
it’s her turn to tell.
Interior with Particulars
I visit you often in that room. I revisit your expression. I touch you. How hard you are.
The room has an odor. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but both noticeable and unfamiliar. A sign of your newly acquired foreignness.
I notice your long stubble. Some part of you still ticking with leftover life. Some of the body’s parts still running, even when the engine stopped days before.
I realize the old arguments about the body are meaningless when the body belongs to the beloved.
Did they treat yours kindly? Respect your modesty? Lower you gently onto the bed?