Breathing Fire in a Vacuum
The glaze that films your eyes like a skim of ice
on an autumn pond worries me. When I speak,
your ear bends to the sound of a distant motorcycle
or the hum of a twin engine plane, rather than to me
and my words, and your eyes stray to flowers,10
roving insects, dead mice, anything but my face.
Shadow by shadow in the long afternoons,
your attention leaves me. And who would not
be bored with prattle about insomnia
and fibromyalgia unless they, too, housed
an invisible fire-breathing dragon? Remember Florence
going on about her heart? If anyone had listened,
could we have saved her? Can we still save us?
I think so. Pain stretches the distance between us,
but sometimes we still reel it in with a touch.
Mary Stebbins Taitt