Where I am the sugar cube and you are the ants— all of them

Where I am the feathers and you are the many hands plucking

Where I am the skipped stone, you are the lake-silt cupping my landing

Where I am the yolk and you are the face reflected in my sheen, that is our form of touch

Where I am the disposable razor and you are the hairs stuffing my narrow blades

Where I am the underbelly of the leaf, and you, my stiff opposite, collect chlorophyll for us both

Where I am the salt fleck extracted from you, my sweet molecule of ocean… I will miss you forever

Where I am the tweezers, and you the single blonde hair that keeps regrowing on a cheek, I take you endlessly

Where I am the mouth’s fog clinging to you as long as I can, train window

Where I am the bat, and you are not the bug, but rather the echo signaling the space between me and the bug, and you shrink and surge beneath my membranous wingskin

Where I am the rose hip, you are the medicine being made inside me all winter long

Where I am the clock and you the aging clockmaker with failing hands and you go slow in fixing me such that time pulses the places our bodies meet

Where I am the comma, you are the breath of a reader pausing for it

Where I am the alveoli and you are the electron entering me inside that reader’s breath

Where I am the breeze from the south window, and you are the breeze from the north window,

a stranger opens both windows to feel us cross—we surround them with our greedy reunion

Where I am the lilac suckers dropping rotten in June and landing in your mossy lap, my beloved-ground-below

Where I am the drawer, filled with heirlooms, and you are the ghosts, opening me slowly, careful to not wake your descendants

Where I am the needle, you are the rip in the blouse, and I whisper, Only my small punctures can repair you, you, the largest hole I’ve seen yet!

Where I am the glass being filled and you are the sound water makes as it gets closer and closer to the top

Shelby Handler

Shelby Handler is a writer, organizer, and translator in Seattle on Duwamish land. Recent work has appeared in or is forthcoming in POETRY, the Iowa Review, Redivider, and Poetry Northwest, among others.