For days now, I have sought news of you,
have become the eavesdropper of peripheral voices
and the absent keeper of white
waiting-room hours, have been an inquisitor
of mutual friends, but only a few,
have searched through views that opened
onto tree-muted windows and
the smudged brass edges of knobs
that reveal beds of prognoses and malignance,
words that spread out, leaves alighting on water
to ripple smaller and open through the rocks
of impolite questions. I have trapped
many times the feeling of
the overlapping ghosts of dried
mornings that progressed in rings of coffee,
a reverberation of candor, where you often
laughed at how silly we were,
but that has been years now.

Though they told me of the cancer
I tried to forget, an easier way to undo the loss.
If I have not heard otherwise I can think
I have not waited too long to find you.
Days now. I have thought about how,
for a while, we are netted in the wake of memory,
a lesson my grandmother teaches,
calling me her absent daughter, or her sister’s name,
for a moment thinking the face she knew in youth
was mine.

There are still no new emails today.
As the air rings with the pregnant
white static of this silence,
I wonder the best time to call.

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