ON the fire escape

by Craig Arnold

ON the fire escape of your rented room
we sat and felt the empty city
sweat and fret       we passed a cigarette
back and forth        as once we passed
words like these between us         without
hope of keeping
Now I write
without hope of answer      to say
that what we gave each other nakedly
was too much and not enough
To say that since we last touched
I am not empty        I hear you named
and my heart starts        the pieces of your voice
you left       are interleaved with mine

and to this quick spark in the emptiness
to say Yes      I miss how love
may make us otherwise

-excerpted from “Asunder,” Made Flesh