Something’s been touched
And moved, then put back in place
In just that way that discomfits.
In dreams, as always, they come.
It’s different, the idea of her (him),
Of the elsewhere she (he) means.
Not means to be, there are no plans.
It’s like an invasion that was called off.
A dinner cancelled. A play in a park
Rained away. It’s around the space
Of absence that they say desire haunts.
I dislike ghosts in poems, they’re easy
Signs for what the words can’t say or do.
What Is Not always makes What Is thick
With presence, but also a thin hope
Hovers nearby. What you don’t touch, hold,
Tear off, possess, bite, gnaw, chew,
Caress, rip, stroke, or stain, is what
Life dresses in when being good, and true.
It hadn’t happened, and may not
And when it does it won’t be them, or you.
TODD SWIFT's poems have appeared in journals including Canadian Literature, The Globe & Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Poetry (Chicago), Poetry Review, Poetry London, The Guardian, and New American Writing. His poetry has been collected in eight full collections (as well as other pamphlets and chapbooks) including When All My Disappointments Came At Once (2012). Swift is Senior Lecturer at the Kingston Writing School (UK), and director and editor of the small press Eyewear Publishing.