I am waiting for the right instant to say your name
by Peg Duthie
I have torched battalions of straw men
in my quest to spin an ending to my liking.
I have cajoled seeds into uprooting secrets
before they are even drowned or buried.
I have fleeced both witches and sailors
and clothed empresses with newsprint veils.
I have given nothing away, although
many who partake of my measures fail
to recognize that everything bears a price.
I learned this from you. Your prints form a ghost
under everything I touch, a phantom
under every map I sketch, and once
I cease to care about what left’s to lose, I
will free you from the lump lodged in my throat.