By Ricki Mandeville

The same room, the same darkness. Fragments of you
all over the place— your shoes in the corner,
shirt flung across the musty old chaise.

I take the shirt to bed, let blackness conjure you
from thin air, let my longing pull you back
into this world like the moon tugging tides.

Cheek against denim, I close my eyes and wait.
But sleep only licks at my eyelids, then goes.
I hear your voice behind the closet door.

Your whisper taunts me faintly from the walls,
your footsteps echo from the ceiling, dance
toward the kitchen where copper pots clang your name.

Outside the window dahlias pout in thin moonlight,
offer their throats to your knife, sensing you close.
Your ghost tickles my neck as you flit past me.

Can you hear me whisper your name
as I sink my teeth into your shirtsleeve?
I hope dawn comes soon.

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