The morning you leave, I stop to get
coffee – after taking care of the details –
and head east towards home, red eyes
blinded by a sun that threatens a
head-on collision. Duty calls: let out dog,
feed the cats, check voice mail –
but no voice. This is where you should
come in – the tone I know so well,
asking me, no—ordering me – to call
when I get in to let you know I made it
home okay. Keys get tossed; bills ignored.
The pets latch on; they smell loss.
Dark silence hangs in the air, ready to set
fire to every room that once inhaled
Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, California Quarterly, Hubbub, Cottonwood, Comstock Review, and various other journals. The Dash Between Us is her upcoming third chapbook from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day and Dust And Angels appeared in 2012 and 2014. She has two chapbooks published by Dancing Girl Press in Chicago: Exit Songs (2016), and 16 Days (2019), as well as The Skin Of Uncertainty (2020) from Maverick Duck Press. Cathy has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes and serves as a special editor for the journal Fine Lines in Omaha, Nebraska.