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I miss you most when I sleep—
when my head hits the goose down,
body hits the cool and makes a ripple in my tight sheets.
The bed’s always made on your side.
Your hairs stick like electricity to wet earth
on that pillow you left.
I must confess one time I tucked my own nose
deep in the canyon your body called home for nine months
and took in a tickling breath, hunting for you.
You returned as a breeze
tucked low behind waves when the ocean roared,
only I couldn’t tell if it were you or my dreaming that made you this way.
Most nights I lie facing your side with eyes wide,
searching for your honey stare;
finding rhythmic pulses of dark night and moon sand.
I sing songs you liked in tongues I barely know—
Ai Se Eu Te Pego,
until the wind chimes break my melody,
or the coyotes howl for me to hush.
“Hush,” I told you once
because you sang best when the lights were out,
and I sang best when you didn’t care if I were pulling your hair
or if my arms made the curve in the bottom of a boat around your
blue water waist.
I miss you most when I sleep
because my thoughts are louder than the crickets outside my window
or cicadas in summer.
Like you, they come seven years apart
and pass with a whisper,
leaving thick skin behind.