This is what you’ve called to say.
Tuesday’s over and already the phone wires
are turning into black ropes. We are bound this way,
you and I. We spend all night plucking ribs
from our stomachs. I could take a train
to visit you. I could pretend the brown gash
through the moon isn’t a mean streak.
The moon, too, is hard to touch.
We’re not sure who to blame for this.
We’re not sure when we last talked
but it’s long enough that you ask if
it’s gotten cold here yet, and if so
am I warm enough in that thin leather coat.
I lie and say I am. Of course, by now,
it’s 4am and the moon’s lost patience.
It sinks beneath the dark green pines.
“You New Lover is Hard to Touch” first appeared in Gulf Stream #18 (2002)
Stacey Waite is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and has published four collections of poems: Choke (winner of the 2004 Frank O’Hara Prize), Love Poem to Androgyny (winner of the 2006 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition), the lake has no saint (winner of the 2008 Snowbound Prize from Tupelo Press), and Butch Geography (Tupelo Press, 2013). Waite is the co-host of the radio podcast Air Schooner produced by Prairie Schooner and is a Senior Poetry Editor at Tupelo Quarterly. The poem, “Your New Lover is Hard to Touch,” appeared in Waite’s first chapbook, Choke.