I woke up to cat food scattered on the floor
and a sun rising exhausted in dead winter,
fingering the ground with its orange light,
and babies sleeping,
heat humming like habit,
nicotine-stained hands stroking black dog,
train whistling departure,
pillow with green flowers and coffee stains.
I woke up and threw off the covers,
blankets of grief covering the dream I had
where you were bathed in the red light
of a bar in Austria, and we were waiting
in line, holding carabineers, ropes, harnesses
for the mountains we would climb.
When my eyes opened,
and I knew you were never coming back.
I woke up but not really,
sleep lodged in my mind like my trunk
full of pictures, pictures of you in Memphis,
smiling in front of the white-screened porch,
your freckles like stars.
I woke up to the sound of silence,
its cradled voice like your closed lips
when I asked you to come live in America,
and the Danube was full of swans,
and my children played with its stones.
I never really woke up.
I dreamed of the Black Sea
and ships on the Danube carrying coal
for that silver stove of ours,
where I cook you your last meal.
I never cooked you your last meal.
I wish I had.