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We say “He” without a name
to speak of you,
hear our own sounds
echoed back from far away
in the monitor’s shush and fuzz.

At night, I hear you calling,
but it’s just a dog’s whine outside,
a wheeze in my own breathing.
Awake, you hold our hands
in your fat palms, then tug them

to your mouth, all tongue
and palate, zest and tang.
In squall and agitation,
you are unreadable,
vehicle too distant to send

clear telemetry. Rapturous
in exhaustion, we
bow and circumambulate,
we struggle to know
what you’re thinking.

Photo by Tembinkosi Sikupela on Unsplash

Lisa Ampleman

Lisa Ampleman is the author of two books of poetry, Romances (LSU Press, 2020), and Full Cry (NFSPS Press, 2013), and a chapbook, I’ve Been Collecting This to Tell You (Kent State UP, 2012). She lives in Cincinnati, where she is the managing editor of The Cincinnati Review and poetry series editor at Acre Books.