"You've changed," she said,
and so I have.
Oh my love, get up, put on your clothes
(if you want to make the sun stutter in the sky;
if you want the swallows to go stunned and still)
and go outside.
Everything that was dead a month ago has sprung from the ground
or from the ends of branches.
Everything that was here a year ago is dead and sleeping,
forever, in that same ground.
You thought I was like an old lamp, always there,
always unnoticed and beloved at the same time.
I thought that too.
Now, though, starlings have found a way in,
and I can barely keep my feet on the ground.
They call me;
they are a cacophony,
reminding me, so much, of--in those first days--you.
I had a dog, my whole heart, Mercury on four legs.
How I loved him! Now, he is gone
and I see a ginger cat in the garden every morning.
Goodbye, my love.
How it twists my heart to say it.
The starlings call, the ginger cat watches the birds,
and I change, rising on an updraft
or the ashy exhalation of a favorite book, now burning.