Camille T. Dungy


 


My Lover Who Lives Far

 

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room
            and offers supper in a bowl made of his breath.

The stew has boiled and I wonder at the cat born from its steam. 

The cat is in the bedroom now, mewling. The cat is indecent
            and I, who am trying to be tidy, I, who am trying to do things
            the proper way, I, who am sick from the shedding, I am undone.

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room
            and offers pastries in a basket spun from his vision.

It is closely woven, the kind of container some women collect.
        
I have seen these in many colors, but the basket he brings is simple:
            only black, only nude. The basket he brings is full of sweet breads
            and I eat even the crumbs. As if I’ve not dined for days.

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room
            and offers tea made from the liquid he’s crying.

I do not want my lover crying and I am sorry I ever asked for tea.

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room pretending
            he never cried. He offers tea and cold cakes. The tea is delicious:
            spiced like the start of our courtship, honeyed and warm.

I drink every bit of the tea and put aside the rest.

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room
            like a man loving his strength. The lock I replaced
            this morning will not keep him away.

My lover, who lives far away, opens the door to my room
            and brings me nothing.

Perhaps he has noticed how fat I’ve grown, indulged.

Perhaps he is poor and sick of emptying his store.

It is no matter to me any longer, he has filled me, already, so full.

My lover who is far away opens the door to my room
            and tells me he is tired.

I do not ask what he’s tired from for my lover, far away,
            has already disappeared.

The blankets are big with his body. The cat, under the covers
            because it is cold out and she is not stupid, mews.




© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review