Nina Puro

Tonight, the glasses sweat their medicine
into our palms. Heat rises off the deck.
The nasturtiums wilt; the vegetables march in their rows.
I keep silent, keep picking at the dry skin
around my big toe. You paint yours a slick, pale blue.

The light in summer holds almost too long.
What glistens almost stings—break of light
through the trees to splinters lacking weight.
Hope unpinned from conviction.
It’s time I fear, obligations or the lack of them.

I flick my thumb, make a wet orange drop bloom,
touch it to paper, touch the paper to twigs, feed it, feed it more.
We eat onions feathered open by woodsmoke.
A fish bone gets caught in my throat.
Wait to see what shapes
will come out of the woods with dark. What eyes.

Circular stains overlap and widen on the wood,
changing with the hours. They map Venn diagrams
of the last year—moving closer, closer, further.
I touch hissing paper to my mouth. I am afraid.
The glasses’ marks evaporate into a stain
that is either one solitary, dark ring
or two pressed so close together they appear the same.

Eventually, the air sucks the moisture back into itself.
The stains look first like circles, then like broken curves,     
then greasy patches—finally, nothing at all.