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  • Writer's pictureAnna Claire Hodge

Listen To How This Song Ends

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

It’s no wonder that we return

often to the water, that sustaining

element, to celebrate this unimaginable life.

So long ago in Italy, you bought

a bottle from me each day, & I scanned

them, smiling, as we let the register’s sounds

speak what we couldn’t yet say,

what we didn’t yet know.

Imagine how much of the Earth

has observed our gravity — a force

that compels planets & light, like the glow

of Paris as we ate gyros on a park bench

& learned that maybe time, too, could be curved

by this inexorable pull. The night heard

our song, & continues to.

In London, I asked for tattoos,

some beautiful declaration of us. Who wouldn’t

want to be art with you? Your no, of course,

led soon to a yes. Maybe denying permanence

guaranteed it. Aren’t we an easy bet?

Stability can quiet a leaping mind, leave room

for questions — is it the letter j, or a candy cane?

A broken shoe near a canal can also be a gift,

knowing our clumsy steps are in tandem,

& louder than before.

Moo, this world is for us — the aurora,

the long sun of solstice or temperatures

below zero. Or the way warm water bubbles,

a miracle from the ground, rising like the way

you build scaffolds to the height of my dreams.

Like those limestone stairs in Ischia, leading us

from the ocean, to a tangle of vines, to each other.

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