- Jude Hopkins
Poem: "How We Once Moved" — Published in California Quarterly Vol 35. No. 3
Over a cup of instant tea,
you told me you were married,
somewhat content, a father and a teacher.
I suppose such a rendering — given that, together,
we had burned through youth's fat and muscle —
deserved more than the chipped mug I handed you,
now resting on the sideboard.
This bone-white cenotaph to your last kiss,
misplaced on its unyielding lip,
serves as a constant reminder
that unlike the stilled lovers and unheard pipers
wrapped around the ancient urn
I have known you
I have heard the music
yet as host to the worm of yearning
having nothing to show for it
but the last thing you touched.
I interlace my fingers on the cup
bringing it to my lips
longing to quicken its hollowed-out names
and immovable date of death
and feel it squirm in my hands.