Cara Dees

Tanka After-Hours



When the pier glass storms
            our swell and flight against stayed
panes, the late day's last

            stretch is enough to force you
                        to dissolve to a needle.


As if we could mend
            together the dead's over-
lonely hours to one

            filament of ether, a
                        blushing tongue of song, an edge.


Our pupils half-charged
            and mouths tranced open, static
and out of all world,

            we tell ourselves we almost
                        taste it—dust and endless bowl.


Is the dead mother
            a nothing to the daughter's
hybrid hours, or do

            the windows rise to her as
                        a volume lengthens within?


Once, in our highest
            versing, I wanted the claim
on my blood to be-

            night my body for hers, for
                        hers to be lifted in turn.


And after, the peace
            speaking closely with us, we
cannot contain it

            all. Shut transport and absence
                        now again a constant root.