The house empties,
its lungs heave,
air seeps from spaces we were supposed to fill.
This unfolding of an absence,
slow in the way morning slips
through the skylight, cradles my body.
I lift the blanket, see how the swell’s softened.
Somewhere, there’s another house
in which I’m not waking
to the burnt smell of the woodstove,
the afghan folded over its embroidered name.
There, I’m not staring at the rocker swearing
it’s swayed, as though that lost version of myself
just sat down to quiet the new child’s cries.