On shallow evenings, your lover takes

to chafing dried oil off 

old roasting trays, 

scraping dirt lodged 

like clay between floor tiles

with her pinky nail.

On all fours,

her joints click in the 

rigor of her cleansing. 


Your lover takes 

to retying sneaker laces 

for a proper loop, 

over and under and knotted, 

not right, 

takes to stepping outside 

and stepping back in—

the crickets too resonant, 

they jeer at her emptiness. 


A sectional half lit.

A foreign film on mute.

An album has ended.

A father’s voice needles the shallowness. 


In her mind,

he nestles into his armchair,

scoffs at the hollow space 

and recites bible stories

she knows by word.