Within the Presence of Your Absence

Those pillows where you wedged your head
cannot relax or convalesce

like me
by lasting weights

as if much pressure hesitates
both there and here
within these ribs

there sorrows caged still dent their pen
and jolt the bolt restraining them

the lock no looser for the pain
however they may rage or strain

impressed ingrained imprinted


thick influence
much metal heft

your indentations shape the day

they occupy where you stand not
can drive shrill silence from all halls
or empty rooms from rugs to walls
or shove old shadows out of sight
and clear the clocks of noon and night

because you're present
then you're not

while I'm not game for hide and seek

although I search

too often speak
as if you'd hear me
might reply
or wait to see what else I sigh

retorting in a wordless way

through curios
daft artifacts
handwritten lists
cool candle wax
you left behind one Saturday

confined by times
which loose the mind
to redefine that lack enshrined
in everywhere you glow no more

and though it seems I leave through doors
or step out boxing calendars

each entrance sends that absence round
inverting exits to surround

negating spaces none contain

beyond departures
we remain.

Within the Presence of Your Absence © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

207 words.  W.S. Merwin quote (2nd quote inspiration: "Your absence has gone through me..." - from Merwin's "Separation")  challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746398---w.s.merwin-
Submitted: April 28, 2020

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