The Chair


Ache that clung
like a desperate lover,
bed left unmade,
nest of hair
caught in the drain.
Thin scorched moon
burnt into the counter.
You cook

what you like, close
thick drapes to keep
in the night, and if
you can't sleep
two fingers of scotch
swirled in a cup,
the chair where grief
used to wail, a shriek
so sustained you wonder
how you ever
got up, how you
could dress yourself.

Now, only
a slight indentation
in the gray upholstery.
The silence is holy. You sip
every drop, chew the ice.

- Ellen Bass