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After “This Room”

Something shimmers, something is hushed up.
All those feet shuffle off, taking
the sofa, taking the portrait. The shimmering slackens.
I lie on the bare floor for a long nap
and dream I enter the room you entered first.
There was the sofa, the oval portrait of a dog,
all those shining feet. But the dream flags:
you’re not even here. I wake up full of thirst
for the way you used to speak. My heart wells
for want of the dog’s weight against my palm.
The first room smelled like leaves and luna moths.
Beside that room this empty place is pale.
It’s the measure after the shimmering hush, the calm
floor from which you shuffle familiarly off.

This poem appeared in the October 20, 2011, issue of the magazine.