The familiar clack of shoes against tile, click
of the key in the lock. Wait and rock.
Your gaze silent and grim, I long for the touch
that doesn’t come. My tongue caught
on the cage of my mouth
tart with sour milk.
In the picture from your wedding,
a white dress of lace. As if held
down by the weight of fancy fabric,
your bones ache to float off the edges
of the frame. Mother of stone,
teach me the temperature
of tomb. Watch me chase my tail.
Toss me a cloth, a bottle of milk.
Tiana Nobile is a recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry, and a fellowship from Kundiman. A finalist of the National Poetry Series and Kundiman Poetry Prize, she is the author of The Spirit of the Staircase (2017), and her poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The New Republic, Hyphen Magazine, and the Texas Review, among others. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more, visit www.tiananobile.com