“Naked, we had voices!”


It seems I’ve fallen madly in love with the work of Anne Michaels, having put her work everywhere, the imagery folding itself into my own ways of seeing and expressing feeling and light.

fromThe Weight of Oranges
Anne Michaels
I’m up early now, walking. Remember our walks, horizons like lips barely red at dawn, how kind the distance seemed?

Sometimes I’m certain those who are happy
know one thing more than us … or one thing less.
The only book I’d write again
is our bodies closing together.
That’s the language that stuns,
scars, breathes into you.
Naked, we had voices!

I want you to promise
we’ll see each other again,
you’ll send a letter.
Promise we’ll be lost together
in our forest, pale birches of our legs.

I hear your voice now—I know,
everyone knows promises come from fear.
People don’t live past each other,
you’re always here with me. Sometimes
I pretend you’re in the other room
until it rains … and then
this is the letter I always write:
The letter I write
when they’re keeping me from home.
I smell your supper steaming in the kitchen.
There are paper bags on the table
with their bottoms melted out
by rain and the weight of oranges.

Photo by Raul Petri on Unsplash