lunate, you say, holding my wrist
between your practiced thumb and forefinger
ulna, radius, humerus, your light brown hand sliding
eloquently up my arm
clavicle, gliding up then down, scapula, resting now
vertebrae C1 through T5, your hand descending
like my eyelids

gloved hands held
we step down into the station
flakes of snow, finite emissaries,
clinging to your coat’s black wool
a man on a bench
plays the ehru to no one—
a string snaps
i lay my head on your shoulder
breathe in the scent of winters passed

bundled on the boat’s stern
we’ve been watching for hours
shielding your eyes from the sun and peering into the waves
you say, nobody’s there
a pelican, the sky’s sole occupant,
disappears over the horizon
and lingers in my thoughts
as i sip loudly from the juice box you packed
i wonder
what monsoons he’s seen
i silently bid him Godspeed
–there, you say, pointing
i struggle to see; but then see
sprays of water, fins slicing crests and troughs,
elemental black bodies
lifting and dipping in slow sequence

i am writing the last line:
the cat dives
across the page
i pick her up and replace her
on a window sill overlooking a red oak budding
find you in our bed still sleeping
kiss you on the forehead, return to my desk
brush hairs from the page
whose blank space now feels antarctic