“For D.’

Listen to Rosanna Warren read this poem.

The plane whumps down through rainclouds, streaks
of creamy light through cumulus, and, below,
a ruffled scattering, a mattress’ innards ripped— friendship is always travel. How to measure
the distance eye to eye, or hand to hand—as our hands age—
or shoulder to shoulder as we stand at the sinkwashing grit from beet greens, our palms magenta,
our voices low, steady, exchanging
gossip and palaver whilewater rollicks to a boil
in the large, old, dented pot and aromas sharpen
(thyme, onion, oregano), children’s voices rise and fall,at the fireplace the fathers argue about the fire,
and two families will eddy in rising hunger around the oval table
with its blue-checked cloth—the plane tears through the lowest cloud bank
and again I am making my way toward you
from the far country of my provisional health,toward you in your new estate of illness, your suddenly acquired,
costly, irradiated expertise.
You have outdistanced me.