Like a problematic friend, clueless, infinitely
forgiven, from whom I earn the gift of close
containment, thin walls. 

Like a precocious child too often set aside
despite your perfunctory need for my touch

Like a desert, home of myth 
and wonders, long avoided; embracing
the hard dry thirst, seeking
delirium in your unremitting glare

I learn who I am

Absent shadow, words you forgot
or never knew
corners avoided and erased, I collect

to reconfigure
what is in your too-close breath
a whiff of missed understanding, refusing 
to name itself

My love for you is basic
and acid, corrosive – burning off what good
remains of me.