Plane Folds

Talk to Her

Jessica Baran

when you have nothing to say, time to give.
He was the smallest lover like no other
inside me, a daily voice. How her white legs parted
to be washed, if love rubs us well with tiny fists.

His face next to me was recast, at once
threnody and a dancer's.
The final performance wondering who was grateful
said you were the same: approximately.
Someone else might have noticed, the window
that determines our point of view

but sickness bulls us, brings us face to face.
Just the same, the suit fit her perfectly, as though she were
stitched in. That would come later,
when we'd all be putting ourselves back together.
The high tapestry of proximity, the shower-curtain plotting

of hospital beds. Who will care for me
when I am too busy listening, making an absolute home
of bed sheets? There really was nowhere else to go
but to stand beside her, brandish my little flag

of personal country, to be limping through
this dream of dinner for two. I find myself in many places
snaking among an accursed few. Everything being
an instant dwelling, the long car drive to prison

or sleeping, here, with fingers full of salve
waiting to enter. How was I ever convinced
that I chose this hand, this resting place
where we're forever reaching at what we have?
I'll talk to her, keep talking, talking to you.