He liked her awkwardness,
the smudgy yellow light she’d throw.
Why she’d come he didn’t know;
she gave him reason, though,
to think it wasn’t likely she would go.
This didn’t worry him, he liked
that she was there. Something
in her seemed to alter his relationship
with light and temperature and air:
he wouldn’t have been able quite
to say it but with her mute
reassurances he knew that he was
not so much the child of atmosphere
as sibling to it. But what was he
to her, or she to him? He asked
her in the way they had devised
to speak so they could understand
each other – had to do with
cultivating delicate degrees
of rising, falling breaths – he asked
her what she was and what he was.
She asked him what he thought.
Are you my mother, soulmate,
supernatural protector? She said
she didn’t know what supernatural
could mean. And only volunteered
that she was something different
from what he had said. Will you be
with me when I’m dead? Am
I dead? She said she didn’t know
what dead meant. He found
this funny so he laughed. There
we go, she happily replied.
You’ve pushed us off the shore:
we’re on the raft. We’ve
caught the tide.