while listening to your voice,
its energetic cadence,
the wealthy murmur of your laugh
spiting grief, pain, the whole
past-tense flashback shebang,
I feel erased, slowly,
foot to head like in a cartoon,
never neck down as with opiates
or strong drink. Your tongue
beats out a soothing percussion.
Your lips stack pillows
on the safe-room cot.

I speak, too, though my voice cracks
like bricks in the wall between us,
concrete miles of highway between us—
our words a bridge,
yours a soothing exit.