“Sometimes I write terrible fortunes for imaginary cookies: Someone at this table knows your secret. I write them on tiny pieces of paper that I imagine would fit in the innards of the cookie’s crescent: The affair you are contemplating will ruin your life. Or something like: Your happiest days happened a long time ago …”
—Denise Duhamel, from “Insomnio” in The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999)
I Don’t Miss It
BY TRACY K. SMITH
But sometimes I forget where I am,
Imagine myself inside that life again.
Recalcitrant mornings. Sun perhaps,
Or more likely colorless light
Filtering its way through shapeless cloud.
And when I begin to believe I haven’t left,
The rest comes back. Our couch. My smoke
Climbing the walls while the hours fall.
Straining against the noise of traffic, music,
Anything alive, to catch your key in the door.
And that scamper of feeling in my chest,
As if the day, the night, wherever it is
I am by then, has been only a whir
Of something other than waiting.
We hear so much about what love feels like.
Right now, today, with the rain outside,
And leaves that want as much as I do to believe
In May, in seasons that come when called,
It’s impossible not to want
To walk into the next room and let you
Run your hands down the sides of my legs,
Knowing perfectly well what they know.