by Jayne Benjulian


I left him once
when he disappeared for a day
I left him once
no one heard a word he surfaced
later what did he imagine
time froze when he stepped off the earth.
I left him once.


Then I asked him:
what rose up and what descended,
then I asked him
the definition of honor,
lie of omission, who are you
person with whom I am speaking?
Then I asked him.


But it was not
the beginning, the beginning
but it was not
all there was. There was a secret
soldered to our veins, a chill and
burning current, a child’s voice
but it was not.