Without Love

I cannot do without love
the way I make myself
do without food or sleep or sex 
I cannot do without love

sometimes I rummage through
my papers 
tendrils of dreams
thoughts from long ago
want to throw everything out
but can’t

did my laundry
read Doris Lessing 
on the stairs in the sun
the one about
a man and two women

last night in your arms
a whisper in my ear
see how your heart beats
hard like a hammer

what are you thinking about
you are so far away

pow fahn for breakfast
steaming in rice bowls
snow heavy on the trees
like icing on a cake

your lover calls every night
demanding to know 
if I am still here
and why the hell am I
still here
I cannot do without love

Copyright © 2023 by Kitty Tsui. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 29, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.