For my lover…

THE NUMBERS

How many nights have I lain here like this, feverish with plans,

with fears, with the last sentence someone spoke, still trying to finish

a conversation already over? How many nights were wasted

in not sleeping, how many in sleep–I don’t know

how many hungers there are, how much radiance or salt, how many times

the world breaks apart, disintegrates to nothing and starts up again

in the course of an ordinary hour. I don’t know how God can bear

seeing everything at once: the falling bodies, the monuments and burnings,

the lovers pacing the floors of how many locked hearts. I want to close

my eyes and find a quiet field in fog, a few sheep moving toward a fence.

I want to count them, I want them to end. I don’t want to wonder

how many people are sitting in restaurants about to close down,

which of them will wander the sidewalks all night

while the pies revolve in the refrigerated dark. How many days

are left of my life, how much does it matter if I manage to say

one true thing about it—how often have I tried, how often

failed and fallen into depression? The field is wet, each grassblade

gleaming with its own particularity, even here, so that I can’t help

asking again, the white sky filling with footprints, bricks,

with mutterings over rosaries, with hands that pass over flames

before covering the eyes. I’m tired, I want to rest now.

I want to kiss the body of my lover, the one mouth, the simple name

without a shadow. Let me go. How many prayers

are there tonight, how many of us must stay awake and listen?

– Kim Addonizio

xoxo

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