Late turned to early when the mail slipped under the door,
a tiny crease of lemony light covered, then revealed.
Those pebble steps.
Somehow the tea cooled. You called it the colonizer’s drink,
and I put my hands over my ears, I said,
to warm them.
When the heat turned off, we knew it was spring again.
The marigold splashed itself into the hallway,
despite our protests.
I placed a petal in the oval of your chest (but your body had grown
out of my stretch). A mailman’s thumb.
Smudged return address.
All of it, morphing without our consent. No wonder
I fumble like any accidental supplicant, whose prayer
is for a single lull to stay and be.
Cathy Go is the recipient of the River of Words Grand Prize in Poetry and a Columbia University fellowship funding her first chapbook project, which aims to present both oral history and poetry in a dialogue on memory, landscape and diaspora. She has been published in Cuckoo Quarterly, Just Poetry and the Columbia Review.