My words are nothing but air
But they are life‑breath to hear.
— Sappho

How well I know those hands. No rings. Slender
fingers. Silent palms. The elegant curve
of her wrist. I have studied
and engraved them on my mind.
I begin to feel

her presence in every muscle and cell.
I become an eye, an ear, aware of her
slightest movement, the pulse and pitch of her
voice as she shapes each word.
And I want

to ask her — Did you arrange your hair
like that just for me? Or was it the wind,
your sister, who knew just where
to place each strand? And because
she once permitted me
to enter

her eyes, without looking away,
in my perfect dream, I can summon her
face. The softening angle
of hair across her forehead,
the clean line of her cheek.
I know

she has no limit now. No matter
how lightly I touch her, I can’t
enter her wholly enough,
her awakening

mind, her hesitant, half-secret smile,
the warm liquid taste of a favorite dream
as she breathes it out in a song
that she can’t help singing.
Now, each morning,

as I walk along the river
and over the bridge,
I carry her with me, the breath of her
life within my life
wherever I go.

Hear it:




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