What we demarcate a city

Listen to author

and think ours

is only a few faces we depart―
not even faces, but the impression
of having seen. These faces! Crude

notation! How look? You

recall an eyebrow or a small section
of ear. The rest is

not even a zero
indicating what you go without: not gas gauge
on E, no kites in sky, pot devoid of coffee, bed

emptied, grave nameless. In darkness

touch stands in
for the person. A hand

or shoulder or genital
replaces a face
covered by the edge of a pillow case or hair
or palm. You

know the word

no longer. The face mirror’d
you will see again
to be yours. To seek

the appellation is to ink-stamp
I am not being clever to the stomach
of your pregnant lover. The problem
is this claim and its converse

may imply the same.
The eager first-arriving
do not see city
but a future-self they hope
what is alien will fashion.
I do not want to think this
of those in my bed. I want
the assertion I love X
to be other than a statement

about my likes and dislikes.
I am not
describing a place, but pointing
to my desire
to associate one city with another,
to fix you among other lights
so I might not forget

when it is day.
A remembered city is
the belief of having known

the now-bone-filled spaces we tread
with slow footsteps,
erasing what others wrote in stone,

looking to
what those in anticipation put into glass and light
before us.