A Lingering Thought

Published in: Cornell University’s Ink Magazine, Fall 2010

Here lie we the untouched,
the forsaken against whose skins
God’s fragile breath
has never grazed.

We rise from time to time,
but only to bow our heads as we pass
beneath the cherry boughs,
whose limbs droop from the weight of their
pitying stares.

We stand from time to time,
but only to look–
fascinated by the movement of a woman’s fingers
gently stroking her loved one’s broad back,
or absorbed in a man’s lips sweeping across
his companion’s soft tresses.

We walk from time to time,
but only to hear our own footsteps,
shoes clacking against the sidewalk
in the stunning frigid silence of
clear mornings.

We linger from time to time,
but only to slouch before
frosty windows,
hands shoved into pockets,
quietly regarding the old wife
who stands in the kitchen and mutters
“What a shame,”
and the husband who, sitting in the living room
easy chair rustling a newspaper
or flipping channels,
tries to forget a lingering thought.

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