They think they leave no trace, the women
who sip from a glass than step out
of one life to try on the next; travelling together
like wind-thieves they imagine they’re alone,
may arrive without shoes, astonished at seeing
bare feet. They trust in their houses’ amnesia.
But we have taken this from them, look,
a swab from saliva abandoned
on the glass’s rim. We’ll stretch what’s inside
like ribbons or beads, fix it on a slide
like thin glass: contemporary, stained.
It’s what’s absent that tells us the most.
We’ll decipher the gaps, give them back
husbands, fathers, sons, they thought surely lost.