My Babe

I want you to miss me

There could be fog
Or maybe just a mist
And inexplicably I'll fade to white
Vanish, and be gone

Or it could be night
And I'll be darkly dressed,
Evading easy definition
And as your eye's distracted
By a falling leaf
I'll merge with restless shadows
And be gone

Then you will discover
What emptiness is

A space so hollow
Even its own walls are swallowed up

A quality of missing
So intense
A lack, a lack

Each hour more bottomless than the last
Until your heart cries out,
A howl of forfeiture

But it will be nothing
Ashen silence where I used to sing
And deafness

The howl must strike the right resonant frequency
A wail that echoes all to the ends of time
To fill the gaping void in whole, looping wavelengths
From the well of your soul, such loneliness
To make Siberian wolves hang heads for shame
In their convivial packs

Then, only then
Might you detect my footprints, indistinct
Marking the morning dew fall

Perhaps glimpse a puff of breath in the cold, dawn air

You must utter
A howl so desolate, it

Jerks you from your sleep
To find me warm beside you on your pillow

And you will know how
Close you were to the brink
Of the abyss

And know what missing is
And hold me. 2000