by Stuart A Paterson
A book lies where you left it on the table by the bed,
dog-eared on a page you’ll have forgotten that you read.
Across from it’s a pillow still imprinted by your head,
a single hair upon it, serpentine, enchorial, red.
I never quite know what to do when you’re still in the room
you left an hour or day ago to travel to the moon
or a meet with the Oireachtas or a summit in Khartoum
riding on the contrails of a compass sweetly tuned.
I’d like to leave it as it is, a small museum of you
I’ll see each time I go into the kitchen, hallway, loo.
And then remembering that you’re back within an hour or two,
I tidy, rearrange to us, the way that some men do.