Canadian Culture · Canadian Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry

Carole Glasser Langille

When You’re Not Here and When You Are

Waking early, alone,
I crave the ripening hay in your field,
the smell of weeds tangled in brine, and along
the inland road, honeysuckle, sharp as juice
sucked from raw crabs by the cove.

Oh, the fine wet inside of your flowers
in your field after rain. The acrostic
of sifting earth with moist fingers, separating
essence from essence, a pebble
rolling in soil. I could lie around all day

wanting the brush of your lips. Between your lips,
the dark field meets a night sky. I am inside
each ragged breath and the pause between. Your legs—
a bridge to the twilight where, overhead,
stars pulse. On such cold nights
you take me as if I were spice in your coffee,
stir me, your beautiful strong arms,
your unbearable aching. I rely on the warmth of your voice
to illuminate the dark. Like a forest
that parts and cinches a road.

A clasp undone. The cat purrs.
A rustling as the leaves stir.
In the yielding light,
a pale sky warms. There.
The grassy rise is splashed with rain.

Carole Glasser Langille, Late in a Slow Time (Mansfield Press, 2003)

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