Nothing stops him from opening
my mouth, entering the quiet rooms
of my body. The scent of his skin,
lips red as camellias.
If I were to speak his name,
it would make no difference.
He is always whispering in my ear.
I take him in, this grief. He runs his fingers
through the thick shadows of my hair.
Sometimes I taste him in my food
or when a word enters my mouth.
He salts my tongue, kisses me in the dark.
I only see him when I’ve stopped
looking. Like innumerable lanterns
through my ribs, up the long
ladder of my spine, he moves
toward the interior of my heart.
Brilliant, this grief never leaves.
I cannot look him directly
in the face, no more than I
can look directly at the sun.
Knees, hips, shoulders, arms,
I am back to him on all fours,
a moon on the water.
I lift his body. He lifts mine.
My wrists swell. You can tell
a body that has not been touched,
when something reminds it
of what it once was, how it once
murmured. Sometimes I just
want to be recognized.
Mostly he comes to help me remember
everything about you that was alive.
Mitchell Untch writes, “I am an emerging writer. Partial publications include Beloit Poetry Journal; Poet Lore; North American Review; Confrontation; Nimrod Intl; Natural Bridge; Owen Wister; Solo Novo; Knockout: Baltimore Review; Lake Effect; The Catamaran Reader; Grey Sparrow; Illuminations; Tusculum Review; The Tampa Review ; Mudfish; Chiron Review; Massachusetts Review, srpr; Paris American; Moth, Fjords, among others.”