Between pines, a pause
in the forest, transparent, yet visible,
like how no, in its nothing
is still an answer, is the water
I could not give her, the wish
taken out of the well; and her bones
left to vanish in their circle
become the circle, are the clearing
I approach. And when at last I am alone,
I ask her death to hold me, the way air holds up
a bird above its home. Or how my seat, when I stood up
became empty, and remained—in those moments
when she asked and I walked toward her—both an end
and a waiting,
and an end to the waiting.
Copyright © 2018 Joanna I. Kaminsky. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.