In the night, after the others have gone,
with no light but the fire burning,
you let the lost space inside you build,
kindling that takes the flame. You listen quietly,
like a child, to the cold beyond the mountains.

I’ve lived in your far cabin for years now,
looked down on the aspens and sage,
the winding ice of the river. I’ve seen
the white-tailed deer leap the fence
that separates them from your dreams.

I’ve watched you travel the night.
From the shadows next to you
I’ve watched you rise above your bed,
a mirage of lilacs, frozen branches
like veins filled with snow
the fragile white glass glowing to
a polished point, pure light.

When the empty room comes back
I step forward to touch your things
and tend the fire for your return.
My loneliness hurts for a moment
before I find my little dance
to dance outside the world.

And then, tired of turning and turning
I drop exhausted to a chair.
Once more I am, and laugh,
and I pretend next time
you are to be my guest,
not I yours.

My friend, once more I drink your silence,
drink deep of the dark wine
you’ve left for me on the table.
I shall sleep well tonight
and miss your hand upon the door.