Carol Ann Duffy

Saying Something

Things assume your shape; discarded clothes, a damp shroud 
in the bathroom, vacant hands. This is not fiction. This is 
the plain and warm material of love. My heart assumes it. 

We wake. Our private language starts the day. We make 
familiar movements through the house. The dreams we have 
no phrases for slip through our fingers into smoke. 

I dreamed I was not with you. Wandering in a city, 
where you did not live, I stared at strangers, searching 
for a word to make them you. I woke beside you. 

Sweetheart, I say. Pedestrian daylight terms scratch 
darker surfaces. Your absence leaves me with the ghost 
of love; half-warm coffee cups or sheets, the gentlest kiss. 

Walking home, I see you turning on the lights. I come in, 
from outside calling your name, saying something.