The sound of your shoes dropping, ​
                                                                          thwack!​
and another thwack!

tells me our careful trestle has collapsed,
lunchtime détente, over.

Never mind, this is the reason for a bag of books,
why I dump out Heaney, Hemingway, Joyce, Oates, Vuong
and read madly under the monkeypod tree.

Still, the ache of your silence stays with me,
only thing to do—swim to the pier,
return to find a plover pecking 
at the flyleaf picture of
James Joyce.

We will learn to tolerate.
Become happy.
Eventually, news of each other’s deaths
will not trouble us.

But just now
you were watching from a fourth floor window; I saw your muscled back
retreating.


Image credit:Michael M

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle. Her poetry and short fiction are published or forthcoming in American Journal of Poetry, Off The Coast Literary Magazine, Pacifica Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, Eunoia Review, and others. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.