I miss the tilt and racket of your face,
the collapsing factories of your anger,
the shoreline wearing your boas of foam—
the steel mirror of your silence,
your glass contingencies, in the night’s hold.
I miss the morning’s coverlet of cloud,
one gull flying east over the moving distances
while closer in
the same boulder is kissed again and again.
As the blacksmith plunges the bruised steel into the tub,
erasing the heat of his industry,
I have cooled my brow
with the ice of your disdain—
I have held your cold hand in the rain.

Jim Armstrong. Blue Lash (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2006). Copyright © 2006 by Jim Armstrong. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions.