by Pat Phillips West
Individual as DNA,
my husband’s handwriting speaks
from a pile of papers, notes, cards
and napkins, cursive and print
all jumbled together.
On an index card, voice husky,
low, he tells me, I have the wife
other people dream about. I know
I’m the luckiest guy alive . . .
His note written as if in a jolt,
jotting down those lines
like the morning after a dream,
trying to capture his thoughts
before they escaped. Letters big
and small run across the page,
never in a straight line.
I find a fading pencil sketch,
drawn on the tablet he kept
in the garage, measurements and materials
for a dart board cabinet. This diagram
of his last project, a blend of lingering intimacy
and utility. More alive
than the tree full of pink blossoms
outside my window,
more permanent than my own body
that once came together with his.
But nowhere more present,
than on a yellow cocktail napkin,
his name, a plus sign and mine,
in blue ink water stained and blurred.