Absence

By Joanna I. Kaminski

Between pines, a pause
in the forest, transparent, yet visible,
like how no, in its nothing

is still an answer, is the water

I could not give her, the wish
taken out of the well; and her bones
left to vanish in their circle

become the circle, are the clearing

I approach. And when at last I am alone,
I ask her death to hold me, the way air holds up
a bird above its home. Or how my seat, when I stood up

became empty, and remained—in those moments

when she asked and I walked toward her—both an end
and a waiting,
and an end to the waiting.