To think of gratitude and to think of thank you cards
instead, the small panic of them, the pressure
to buy the ones with black and white Parisian photograph
covers and the blank insides, ready for your profound message,
you writer, you beautiful liar; you are supposed to be good at this.
So you write, Thank you for the flowers. I don’t know
what to call them, but they are pink and I plan
on taking them to bed with me in your absence. You write,
Thank you for the reminder you’re eight hundred miles away.
You draw pictures of hot air balloons and trolley cars and
inaccurate maps of the United States with dash dashed arrow
routes that point from one stick person holding flowers
to another stick person empty handed.
And when it is too hard to be thankful for anything
other than the fact that at least the two of you aren’t dead yet,
you call, despite the time zone difference and impossible hour,
to say, Walk west so that I can hear your footsteps better.