Seated alone at the edge of the bed
grasp the finest fabric first,
the shrunken sock or silk softest to touch
among laundry high & hot enough
to wrestle your body in rags and towels
and undivided multicolor trappings.
When you find your phantom lover’s
item in the pile, you will have to decide
how to handle it. When it is an undergarment,
you may grasp the heat
which does not linger in silk or lace.
When it is a shirt or pair of jeans, position
the fabric on your skin in the absent
lover’s position. Most of your armor is cotton.
You may undress & lie with the item
against the most exposed part of your seams,
a root work of threads like veins.
The scent folded into the fabric may no longer be
detectable to the unknowing nose.
Folded on the bed alone, conjure the love
under some fabricated light streaming
into the room, a milk-blue ink
at some temperatures, a lucid plasma,
a pearl on the bud & palette in others.
Place your fingers as the fingers are placed.
The oblivious spirit folds out of its material.
Washed till worn, then worn despite tatters.
Fold the legs & arms
until the figure fits neat as a book
of matches in a drawer. The map inside & out
is a mix of missteps & crossroads
bordering cliffs & edges. You cannot live
without the heat & iron of love.
The scent folded into the material travels
as far as music. The scent is like lavender
if lavender were meat-salted & emitting
a heat that travels as far as music.