By Wendy Mnookin

It gets darker earlier each day
so really, it would be better
if you could come back. Come back
before I need a flashlight to walk the dog.

Come back before the outlines of table and chair
recede into background,
before all that's left
to remind me who I am
is the smell of winter though a broken pane.

There are coyotes on the golf course.
They know what they want, completely
and freely who they are, unconcerned
with my steady trudge.

You'd better come back
How lonely would I be
without the danger
of you. The clink of ice in your bourbon.
Your hand, not quite absent-
mindedly, on mine.