We didn’t have it easy in that known unknown time
when you stretched and curled around each other.
We ate apples, sometimes milkshakes, mostly saltines,
and month by month you stayed.
When I’d remember, we’d talk and sing.
I’d narrate the day, describe the commute.
Under the pressure of my hands you’d kick.
I’d guess your features, drawing your likeness to mine.
Mostly we were silent, finding our way with each other.
I didn’t have the words, yet.
Mostly I was sick, a nauseated incubator wading
through the day until sleep held us softly shroud,
and when my body couldn’t hold you any longer
you emerged, cut swiftly, determined to stay.
no deep sleep
no heavy sink
It’s simpler at night
in the house
strata of dust
Night is singular.
After the whir
of the pump
walk to the basin
across cold summer tile
rinse cups, tubes
label date and time.
while I watch
the world isn’t fully
asleep. You two
wires knit your bodies
to monitors, alarms—
if I close my eyes
I can hear your
through my lungs.
Lisa Ludden is the author of the chapbook Palebound (Flutter Press, 2017). A finalist for the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize 2018, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Unbroken, Common Ground Review, 580 Split, Permafrost, Stonecoast Review, Natural Bridge, MockingHeart Review, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on her first full-length book of poetry.