In this life you moved away or died
and I set out to find another like you.
They had to perform tasks and feats:
stack cups up, choose a favorite item
from a set, crack knuckles in rapid
succession. Could they do the things you did?
How were their hands? Had they any memory,
real or imagined, of cutting bowl hair in a green
retro kitchenette? I related the story
how in a past life I sat on their laps.
My bony blonde shoulders digging
into your ribcage like angel wings leaving a mark.
None of them had ribcage angel wing birthmarks.
None even had birthmarks around their chests.
Their hands, subpar. The cup stacking, lackluster.
There are different ways to say
your name. I say tree, I say
marlin. This time, you are seed.
Now, you are milkweed.
Anything alive. We are rind.
There are different ways to hurt, too.
I say wound, I say cut.
We are sore, we make each other
this way. This time, you are hands
and you hold me. You are little ears.
Your name is sand and the wind
blows it away. Your name is watercress,
dovetail, birthmark, archipelago,
firedust. The conifers are dropping
their caves down,
there you are, here we are.