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.




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