I wake, your side of the bed’s empty.
I can’t recall what’s been resolved,
what still teeters like a wineglass
balanced on the edge of a table.
I rummage through negatives,
shadows of you I met in passing.
A breeze writhes in the curtain,
the wildfire across the valley lunges but never leaps.
I’m receiving postcards twice a month
from a man with the same name
as our son who died in the war.
I imagine that you stir minutes later,
you wonder if you fell asleep on a train
& missed your stop, spinning to see me,
or not, as I saw you, or didn’t,
how we pass each other in a corridor,
blind with searching, mumbling in the quiet,
what’s next? what’s next? what’s next?
John Amen is the author of five collections of poetry; most recently, strange theater (New York Quarterly Books), which was a finalist for the Brockman-Campbell Award. His poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).