Issue 11

Poetry

Anne Marie Macari

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If his absent parts cry
quietly from some place
we cannot hear, if he seems

to be steering through a new
language, if he doesn’t go
into the kitchen carrying

bags of lobsters he will cook
and crack with his strong
hands, and if he has no plans

and doesn’t rise early to go out
for pastries or drive his
cars and if I bend to him now

as I would to my own child
and stroke his hair before I leave. Yes,
for years we could not say I love you

and when I started saying it
he would freeze and almost shake,
looking stricken he’d try to reply,

to lift the heavy words out
of himself. Now when I say them
he pauses—practice has made

him stronger but still he must
carefully carry three words
out of the ocean of words.

Slowly they drift toward me:

me          you          more