i see your hand on the counter

i see your hand on the counter
beside me and i know i can’t touch
your hand i only allow my eyes
to linger moments on your fingers, soft
and white, the shape
of my thwarted longing

i look into your eyes
the irises rimmed in black
i sink into the amber
where i don’t want to be
losing myself
and then i talk

i don’t want to want you
if you don’t want me

i don’t want to listen for your
yes like a flat white stone
dropping into the silence
i don’t want to luxuriate
in the ripples around your simple
yes for me yes affirming everything that is
or lean back into the nothing
as it all slides by i don’t

and then the phone rings
it’s your voice
your voice with no presumption
or expectation i can’t
say no
just follow
the places your voice leads
i don’t know what
this is i don’t call
it love

wendy shaffer

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