The universe frays into nothing at its ends and hums
a song of waiting
in the splendor of stars
as she takes out the stitching of the nebula in her
hem. She's about to give up, undress, pour a bath.
Atoms within her have done so already. You, perhaps.
She removes an earring and sets it on the edge of a
worn white swirling table: a gold sun and nine lesser
stones that shimmer like a lure.
One day, a woman tells a man she's given up smoking
and turns him—like a child, like many children—out of
doors so that she may rest. The woman drinks the
relief of the traveler in a glass of cold tea.
The train to the woman's door takes the man to the
ends of the earth. The woman has harnessed herself to
her window and spun a cocoon from dark matter. She
will live for others but has died for him.
The man remembers
she took his hand so suddenly, her other hand around
the muscles near his shoulder as though a wind
pulled her away
to the ends.
Ox-eyed, the bringer of fire bears wood to the kiln.
An unknown figure sets a tea cup, draws a miniature
in gold of the yard without. Winter, and look, even
the beast that draws the cart.
An engine for intimacy.
One day, he will close the distance between his body
and his gaze. He will sweeten his breath with
marjoram and mount the steps of the china shop.
Cold porcelain, warm blood
the pristine confusion of her hand in his.