carve a bath and I will come;
my heart needs the water and I can’t sleep.

the weeks since the last time are wet winter sand:
the long little days crumble to grains.
they and I are wondering
if being counted might have saved them.
still my hands were full of other hands,
and the memory of a squeeze is worth twice the sum.

now my lunch is packed, my books stack high,
and the day before me stretches far along the shore.
I have emptied out the season’s shoes
but the wind never leaves my hair.
I kiss my own brave mouth and know that this year,
salt isn’t only for sadness.

here is the box of promise,
of trepidation and treasure and the sea deep inside.
I listen. and stop. and hold it in my palm.
here is the teacup before the ocean,
this precious space before tomorrow.