Howard Firkin
Leave me the knife you use to pare your fruit,
a memory as clear as stainless steel;
the way you flay the apple skin and suit
the slices to the plate. Leave me to feel
incision, blade and blood, its taste, its smell.
You take your haircut overseas to please
another. Use the hand that touched me. Use
the lips I kissed to smile while foreign breezes
lick the skin I still taste as you choose
dessert, rehearse the route to your hotel.

You’ll write, of course (salvation of the dumb:
the written word), sing songs another wrote,
and I won’t read or hear, but you will come
to me in intervals, between each note.