Late Love Poems
Phebe Davidson

Kitchen knives hang on their rack.
Blades shine. No lack
of edge or heft—
reach to your left

and grasp the one you want. It will
fit your hand. Still
whistle clean. It
chops onions, bit

by bit creates a mince of smell
and flesh that tells
your tired brain Now.
Yes. This is how. 

I know that this is not the worst,
only what hurts
right now, seeing
how you age, being

unable to change that or reach
through it teaches
me something I
must learn. Not why

we are the way we are, but how
we manage now.
Things rearranged.
This life all changed.

Too much passion overwhelms a line.
I write Sad rain, and want it to explain
unyielding sorrow, unrelenting pain.
Everything I see is yours or mine.

A ream of paper, clutch of ballpoint pens–
your coffee mug, my teacup, your design
for pantry shelving, my supermarket wine.
We never thought to come to such an end.

This morning’s sun is wan. The sky is gray.
Outside the leaves have just begun to fall.
I watch the phone and hope someone will call,
but don’t expect much, wish that you could stay.

The thing most deeply felt remains unsaid:
How shall I be alive when you are dead?

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