Doug Ramspeck
Doug Ramspeck

I believe this is steam from your coffee cup,
or maybe a cloud. The years have piled 
one atop the other in a great tower.

If we blink a month passes, if we yawn a year.
We rise from bed, wash our faces. 

Sometimes sit together and read 
the newspaper, sit and watch television, 
sit and one of us is there and one isn’t.

Then the alarm goes off and you are far away
in California, visiting your mother, or I am
with you there and our daughter is on my shoulders.

We are so young in the photograph that I touch
a finger to your face.

In my dream we are sitting in lawn chairs
on a back porch, the years unspooling.

And our bodies are a field
of scrub, are desiccated weeds.

It is like coming up the front yard 
of a great house where the lights are blazing,
but you are not certain
anyone is left inside.

The days so foreign now, like old men
whispering at a bus station,
each moment liminal. 

And a kind of voluntary blindness, 
in the same way that floaters in the eye
are soon forgotten by the brain, overlooked,
and yet exist.