That hour
when you used to
always come around,
that hour
still comes around
even if you
no longer do.
It always arrives
as some kind of surprise
when I’d glance
at the watch
around my wrist
and my heart
would skip a beat
and I’d check my phone
or eye the half-
closed door
so long accustomed
to you,
so completely had I
immersed myself
in wave after wave
of your engaging beauty
while it was present
that long after
the tides had turned
I’m still standing here,
shivering from
your cold, dry absence
droplets of your loving
that cling to my neck
and hang on strands
of my hair
in the lukewarm sun
leaving only
hints of salt
that tastes like tears

and I wonder,
do I call him?
I wonder if he’s home?
What would I say
if I had him on the line?,
familiar questions
so suddenly frightening
branding my heart
condemning it to
a merciless
circadian rhythm,
an overplayed record
that skips at the chorus
every time
that blessed hour
that cursed hour
and does not carry you
with it.

* * *

(It’s that hour again
when I wrote this poem.
I ask myself how
I would face it tomorrow.

One day at a time, Iris.)