Nothing but the Shape


 Amanda Auchter

 

In that light you could no longer see,

the light

 

on the soap dish, the bottles of cologne

and shampoo.  I wanted to touch

 

your hair, feel you on the floor,

your last breath. From the doorway

it didn't look like you—face turned

 

towards the clothes hamper, one foot

kicked into the garbage can, hand still

 

clutching your blue toothbrush.  Mouth

slack, eyes opened to counter, tile, ceiling. 

 

How is it that I've forgotten

 

how many years your body has become

white roots, a box of ash?  At times you fill

 

the room I walk into—the smell of you—

as though you've been there

 

rocking in a chair, reading, never

dead, but waiting for me to enter with

a basket of laundry, a plate of fruit,

 

some toy you left behind that we've both

outgrown.  My hello nothing but the shape

 

my mouth takes, the air you feel

when you press your fingers to my lips.