The air that leaves me comes to you
and back, an invisible post mortem
within a wordless, perfect science.
It tells of a being that turned inward,
a body whose death started from birth
with little tufts of lifeless keratin in hair,
a layering of light, unliving skin.
Your more specific substances pulsated
in you – benzene and beryllium, days
of silence and the sun that return to me
from your flesh. There’s no escape from
wind; your bodiless breath
follows me everywhere.
You said I loved quickly. Now you’re slow
as spinning stars – ones you forgot,
too bright and empty, put away above us.
Soon your breath might be like them.
One day I feel it will sublime,
sticking on a cleaned counter
(a surface that knows my hand)
like last summer’s oil. Oil bakes.
I’ll cut it out, place it on land
to let the sun sink it in.