In the French, tu me manques –

you are missing to me.

You are missing to me,

to my body, to my arms

which starve on air,

to my eyes which dream up

the shape of you in everything.

You are missing

to my fingertips and the roots

of my hair, to my toes,

to my wrists, to my teeth.

Your lungs are missing

to my lungs

which inflate miserably

like half-hearted

hot air balloons

without your scent

to fill them up. Your lips

are missing to my lips,

to my arid tongue

which withers without

the oases of your kisses.

Each pore reaches for you,

each particle widening

in your direction until

my body is nothing but

an outstretched shell –

I need to unmake this missing,

this absence which soaks me

like some opaque paint,

grounding me here

with the thick iron bells

it has hung on my heart.