Because we are slow to believe our good fortune,
there will be no picnics, no swim meets,
no dancing in raincoats made of tinfoil and bottle caps.
Instead we will turn to each other, only now
realizing who sits at our table,
and say, I didn’t know, because we cannot say,
Did you see that storm today?
Because we cannot touch each other, even lightly,
in passing. There is no release without payment,
and payment is measured in damage.
I will not hear you talk in your sleep
and you will not brace your sodden body to mine.
No power will go out, no dogs will shake in the corners
as we light candle stubs with long matches.
Instead I will wake late, convinced
it is a different tomorrow, one threaded with salt
and metal brought in over the Atlantic,
I will open our windows to a sky that is blue and blue
and purple, the color of the child inside
of me, breathing water.
I will name my body fore and aft and rolling.
There will be no fog warnings, buoys stuttering
like mouths without tongues, dumb in the sunshine.
For the first time we are radar with nothing to see.
— Maggie Blake Bailey
, author of Bury the Lede
All poems, art, and photos are public domain, creative commons, or used by permission of author or publisher. Used by permission of Maggie Blake Bailey. Photo by Chad Sparkes, via Flickr.