in the elder staircase

You did say, need me less and I'll want you more.
I'm still shellshocked at needing anyone,
used to being used to it on my own.
It won't be me out on the tiles till four-
thirty, while you're in bed, willing the door
open with your need. You wanted her then,
more. Because you need to, I woke alone
in what's not yet our room, strewn, though, with your
guitar, shoes, notebook, socks, trousers enjambed
with mine. Half the world was sleeping it off
in every other bed under my roof.
I wish I had a roof over my bed
to pull down on my head when I feel damned

by wanting you so much it looks like need.                         - Marylyn Hacker

for a lack of a better term a windswept spirit                         -Anne Carson, from Nox

            or tell me how

in the elder stairwell, suddenly the slight redness of your skin at the collar, 
below the coracle of the throat. if we were trapped here.

in the railcar office i don't take off my shirt. the envelope is the envelope, where it collapses, only to 
meet again its' plane. if we were as bare.

what is rendered useless. how many words a day are capitulated if only by the air. or the sweet 
grass. or the lasso bent smoke of grief.

when i first noticed, you looked up. leaned back then to draw back to the non-being 
of this: of her ordinary boxes, of the vase lakes tacked to a basement wall. to will or chance.

not noticing you is as if the tree were covering the entirety of the lake-bound 
island. even when you look without looking i lose a part of the way.