The Woman Who Never Came Before
She came and you touched her,
missing nothing, between toes,
beneath eyelashes, like salt air
you coated heart, hair, teeth, ears.
She came in a car and on crutches,
with champagne, poems, and Prozac.
Sometimes she came alone,
other times with someone else,
two becoming three, four, more,
the smell of them coming too.
She mostly came at night,
the shadow of her swaying.
She came closer and closer.
She came first, eyes shut tight,
shocked, full of fantastic disbelief.
She came until you were incidental,
invisible agent of her disappearing,
and when she reopened her eyes,
she came alive only to herself,
so you were nothing, or less,
until, coming to, she came back,
but not completely, no,
never came all the way back.
In time, she came just to come.
In time, she never came again.
James Valvis lives in Issaquah, Washington. His poems or stories have appeared in 5 AM, Confrontation, Eclectica, Glint, Pearl, Rattle, Red Fez, Slipstream, and are forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Atlanta Review, Bananafish, Blip, Crab Creek Review, Gargoyle, Hanging Loose, Los Angeles Review, Midwest Quarterly, Nimrod, Pank, South Carolina Review, and elsewhere. A collection of his poems is forthcoming from Aortic Books.