The Poem Underneath the Poem

Don't apologize, said the dark-haired poet
who is no longer in this world.  She meant

the rooms are not too small or cramped;
the roof doesn't leak right now. There's 

something to offer the unexpected guest: 
a hot meal, a spare room, a pillow for her head 

before she goes back on the road. You remember 
her words at the most unexpected times.

Light passes through the narrow necks
of glass jars on the kitchen sill. You choose  

from the drawer a knife that will slice a tomato 
into even wheels and cut a sandwich into neat 

triangles. At night, you slide a prayer with your 
finger down the long, graceful bone crossing 

from one shoulder to the other of your 
beloved before you both fall asleep.

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