Look at that tremble: your fingers

Clutching your coffee cup like a mast,

Like a slice of Still amid the Turning—

The knife scratch, the child’s cackle

Of those playing the “them” to our “us.”


Yet we are part of this rush, aren’t we?

The very noise that runs off us, drowning

Some other shy soul strangling some other cup.


Ah, I’ve failed your eyes,

Let them go glassy, I have.

*Your Name* *Your Name* I remind you.

Take it back up before it’s carried off,

Where one face is another is another is another.


And you melt into them a gasp at a time.

“I’ll wait,” I say. As you fight the tide once more,

The tide of panic; the fight you were born to.