Just now I thought I heard you say
my name in the familiar way
only a child knows, the warm flint
of an urgent reprimand, maternal.
I was in that liminal space, lamp off,
day’s bright splinter almost extracted,
when from across that other border
your voice – your voice – the timbre,
scratching the inner walls of my skull,
that used to make me stop quick smart
before the roar of crosstown traffic.
How I wanted to demolish that wall,
retrieve the warm rubble of your breath.
How I shuddered like a bulldozer in winter.