I can hear them now, she says
the chickadees in the morning outside the window, how
they move into the evergreens, their tzwee
tzwee. And they were there yesterday and the day
before that, how I too have always been there. You mean more to me
than you know, though there are times when a sadness
still comes, the way evening brings a sheen to the lake, the way
troupes of warblers surprise the treetops. Will it be
as fleeting? Everything is fleeting, it’s what we gaze upon
that shares the attention. (He buries his face
into her hair.) But you are here now and I can smell the scent
of your skin like the air after rain, and I stare
upon the curve of your shoulders, the rise from your lower back.
Tomorrow, however, you could be gone. Like the warblers.
Perhaps instinct, circadian rhythm, the setting
of the sun. But tell me, would I sit here in the coming night
listen for your return?