Thumbing through the copy of
Merton’s Birds of Appetite
she found on our living room shelf,
my wife asks me who it had belonged to,
curious about the writing in the margins.
I look and recognize the hand of an old friend;
we used to talk about Zen and Shakespeare.
She wonders if I ever hear from her —
but I have grown so much quieter,
and I can’t bear to intrude
upon spaces so large.
What would I say?