I’d take the litany of a thousand why’s
every hour till dawn to the quiet
of your unoccupied rooms. These rooms,
filled with books and dolls and rocks,
so many slips of notes and drawings
that expose your secret mind. Here –
wasp wings and dried leaves that once
revealed a heart. All of it a still life.
Even the pennies and wrappers littering
your floors miss the weight of you.
Every object of yours, stunned
I can only bare to look because they are
yours – held by you so that now
they hold you
in the way every sleepy stone
holds the warmth of sunlight.
In your shoe, a heartbeat.
And all around are monuments of missing –
each nail, each brushstroke of paint,
the gardens and the rearranging.
I never knew before how much
I felt with my hands until missing
rendered them unable to be idle.
I become a bird at every departure,
flitting and suspended in space,
endlessly nesting to bridge these gaping hours.
Casey Knott received an MFA in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University in 2004. Her current work is looking after, teaching, and learning from three remarkable kids and creating an urban farm with her husband on their small acreage. She is an editor for The Wax Paper literary magazine and has had poems published in “Harpur Palate,” “Red Rock Review,” “White Pelican Review,” “Midwest Quarterly,” and more.