When My Wife Is Gone

Hair
When My Wife Is Gone

even the smallest sounds
wake me at night—the dog pulling a paper

plate of leftover pancakes
off the kitchen counter for a midnight

snack, the air-conditioner
return finally shutting down at 2 a.m.,

all the world cooled
to a point of bearable stasis. Even

the stillness troubles me,
the movements that are not—my wife’s breathing,

the weight of her body
shifting in response to dreams, maybe

of her young son, who
died a life ago in her arms while she whispered,

You’ll see Jesus, and I’ll
be there soon. I’ll be there before you know

it. Soon.

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