Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Absence

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.

Credit


Copyright © 2018 Joanna I. Kaminsky. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.

Author


Joanna I. Kaminski

Joanna I. Kaminski received her MFA from Washington University in Saint Louis. She works at the University of Texas at Austin, where she lives.

Date Published: 2019-03-06

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/absence-1