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.