by L.A. Owens

“They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.”
—James Wright

I know now that love tumbles through space
with the lightness of a moth,

follows the restless wander
of a marble on an uneven floorboard.

I knew you through the whorls on my fingertips,
those faint trails of amniotic current that mean precisely

nothing, though they are my own.
When I loved you, I was trying to say who I was.

For that, I am sorry.
Flesh of my flesh,

the years between us howled like a child,
swaddled, placed in a boat, cast adrift

on an endless northern lake, free to find
whatever home she could.

There is water everywhere. I see it now.
In the air, the soil, in the thousands of breaths

I breathed into you as we lay together.
The idea of “destiny” is a blunt instrument,

but it does the work. I have given up
trying to explain you away.

L. A. Owens lives and works in the Midwest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kudzu House Quarterly, Quaint Magazine, Snowy Egret, and Sierra Nevada Review, and she is a poetry reader for Cottonwood.