From Moments, Years

She did not even understand washing machines, he said.
Put this moment under your tongue and do not let it speak.
The good medicine of it will dissolve into you
as each day does to fill you with the hope
that a time for small excursions will arrive.
Freedom too demands routines.

At least, he said, she could drive a car.
When you slide beneath the brittle water
go all the way to the tiles.
Their blank existence tells us everything again.
Put this moment under your skin, let it burn there.

She was a saint with her husband, yes.
With this moment under your tongue,
silent pillow beneath your ear,
let the world like a prison close over you;
your hand, put it out into the dark
where it will touch the last curving breath of someone’s body,
the shared sleeping nerve of desire.

Even in prison, he said, each year I gave myself four weeks leave.
With these years pressed beneath your tongue
you know you have done what has been prescribed.
You do not waste words on words.
Keep this moment, tongue,
it is your child, the one who will tear herself from you.