How can it be so hot at night?
How can I be so awake
     that my eyelids don’t block my sight?
One of these days I’ll paint this room.
It’s so dark that the walls
     themselves project the gloom.

In the corner
     is a shelf
         full of books
             you had read

In a book
     are the thoughts
         someone wrote;
             I wish I said

From this book
     falls a photo
         you had kept
             to mark the pages

In the picture
     we are happy,
         just a snapshot
             to mark our ages.

Now it separates
     words you read,
         thoughts you absorbed,
     from author’s verse – unaware.
Now it separates
     times of joy,
         memories of love,
     from broken dreams that I’ll never repair.

How can one picture be so final?
How can it invoke you
     yet make life so fictional?
I wish the photo had an inscription,
A glimpse at the other side,
     a sense of hope, a vision.
But the back is without remark
And you, like the picture
     remain a bookmark.