Jane Wong

A whale sits at the bottom of
the sea. Time does its work.

Time does what we can not. The body
gone, the mouth gone, the ribs

an echo rising in the dark. Frame-
work of the heart, I listen as if

I could exist. The world expands a looser
lung. Timber of a flood

I leaned against. As if there was
a purpose in drifting other than

losing one’s self. To lose too much
I have lost myself to you. The fallen

phlox upon my floor I can not bear
to sweep. What do I know

of permanence? Splinter of fog
filtering along my arm. Grave

of wind, small breath
along the back of your neck.

This is a distance I do not want
to keep but I keep

returning to. Bare October, bare
geese loosening in black light.