Late Exchanges

A year, and we recover
words that lack memory,
that mean what we see. You watch
closely the cat, as she loops her paws
at the air. We string sentences made
of weather, of plants, their need
for water.

I look down at my hands,
your hands, and wonder what it was
that passed between them. Once
it was you and I, quiet, watching
something almost like this evening
disappear. In that silence
the cat flicked her paw unnoticed.

Now we push words to pinpoint
the moment of late light.
The cat’s gestures, the green leaves
and spigot water—all the tiny elements
enlarge. This watering can, tipped
in my hand, swells with an ocean
that separates: all that distance,
and this water angling through sunlight
between us.

Katherine Soniat
from her book Cracking Eggs
University of Central Florida Press, 1990

Used with permission of the poet.

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