The heart is always shy; it startles

so it must be a relief not to crib
from notes, not to worry the eyes’

furtive trajectory between screen
and scribbled page, not to back

away from naked encounter of the gaze.
From one to another, the fatal precision

of a kiss or a letter that mentions
the word love more than once; thinly

veiled digression from protocol
or job description. But evening

is full of the business of rain,
which is to say it softens again

the desire to inquire more closely
into the history of the bruise

on the neck, the laceration across
the forehead, the ways in which they

show what they are despite the cover
patted carefully into place around them.

Light breaks to herald the theme of always
starting over. It’s easy to lose count

of the stitch slipped from front to back,
of how far the shuttle has to travel before

it can return. Sometimes the hands only
want to occupy themselves with movement

because it’s more frightening to consider
all the tenderness that resides in the body.

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