I stand a moment in the space you left,
while summer air curls through the windows wide –
I, reconciling, make the empty bed,
the sun lies on the laundered sheets and sighs;
Your desk, your chest, your closet – clean and spare,
these books have all been read, the records played –
the things you’ve left behind – they’re chaff, or dear,
I walk between these things, my temples grayed.
The wind comes in, the sunlight takes its leave –
as I descend these fourteen wooden stairs;
out to the west, you dreamed, you woke, you rose,
you plant your feet and tend to your affairs.
And as for me, I’m chaff, I’m dear, unseen –
I clamber up to this lone shelf and dream.