Maya Stein


Close to the bone Poem by Maya Stein


Last week's snow is almost gone. We've run out of butter and are down to the last banana. The orchid is managing on the windowsill with the weak winter light. The dryer has buzzed its final load, and clean sheets have been stretched over the guest bed. The dog has lost interest in her ragdoll toy and is lying with her head, limp, beside the couch throw. The house is still save the whisper of heat rising from the vents, and I am looking at you looking out the kitchen window, an empty cup in your hands. And here it is again, that swell of love in my chest, so close to the bone it feels like my whole body could break. But then a breath swoops in and my lungs inflate and I don't break at all. Instead, that one breath floats me next to you, and my hand reaches for your shoulder until it lands, softly, on that branch, and we stand parallel, our gaze pointed somewhere further than this yard and the band of trees at its edge. Somewhere further than these neighbors, this street, this town with its Italian delis and Friday night football and park geese clustering the playground. We watch as morning fills the sky. We watch as the sky fills with us.

Submitted: Saturday, August 03, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 03, 2013

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