We hold the present responsible for my hand
in your hand, my thumb
as aspirin leaves a painless bruise, our youth
immemorial in a wormhole for silence
to rescue us, the heart free at last
of the tongue (the dream, the road) upon
which our hours reside together alone,
that this is love’s profession, our scents
on pillows displace our alphabet to grass
with fidelity around our wrists
and breastbones, thistle and heather.
And this steady light, angular
through the window, is no amulet
to store in a dog-eared book.
A body exits all pages to be
inscribed on another, itself.
From Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Fady Joudah. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions, milkweed.org.