That night I fell asleep
Missing your return.
Your steps were always soft.
The air hummed with heat.
The sun rose in the west.
Ascending, it soaked up the redness.
Like a bruise slowly fading
The sky turned pink then golden.
I woke in that familiar valley
Between your neck and your shoulder.
You are here, I said. You are alive.
Your skin was warm and salty,
Your chest kept rising and falling.
An orange dropped off the rim
Of its porcelain bowl
And rolled along the surface
Of our dining table --
As though the world was tilted --
Down the stairs, along the path,
Until it came to rest
On the branch from which I picked it.
Its bright orb shrunk and shrunk
Into a small, white flower,
Until its petals closed:
A teardrop of whiteness,
Like the pearl that you gave me
The night they took you captive.