Preserves

All night I say your name. There is
comfort in the syllables, as if by
speaking your name I bring you here

into the kitchen where the white
scent of Bartlett shimmers above
the stove and I find myself talking

to you as I add honey, knowing you
would love it, its ambrosia twining
with lemon juice, how the two tastes

lace into each other and find their
way to dance together in the same clear jar.
You understood. You, with your hush,

the soft flesh of your cheeks, how
you preserved what was sweetest—
blood plums, cresthavens and wild

apricots—and in your poems wrestled
with what bristles: snakes, bindweed.
You made celebration of Mormon tea.

How I hate the past tense. The sky tonight
is clear and no moon shines through.
I carry pear skins to the compost pile

and hum in Sanskrit to you. And the darkness
feels like a mantle. And your name
feels like a prayer. And the honeyed pear

jam sits on the counter to cool. And no
last line for the poem will do.

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