A layer of paint has separated us;
we look so hard we’re seeing sun spots.
A faded blue lamp on my side has lit me in twilight
and I am wearing the pretty purple shawl that I dreamt last night.
There were stars out in the black sky last night. The Milky Way
made the moon seem watery, and so I stared
into its face without eyes. I felt a little afraid;
somewhere between my lips and my ears
a monster roared morosely and I
went to bed, thinking mostly of the paint,
a façade between you and me,
but found myself distracted by the roar.
Now my imagination is rolling toward me,
and you do not hear trembling or me asking
Is this real? What I hear, what I see
enough to panic or forget.
I am here in the tormented silence imagining torment,
and no sunlight. There is a layer that sealed us separate.
I am confused. It was deliberate.
The ocean is rising.
You and me, we will be preserved in salt and distinction.
I know what you would say to that, how your eyes
would slide to one side and you would nod
to show you were listening even though you are not listening;
I can see.