Women can seem a world away, their sheets smelling of “goodnight.”
    Setting a small loaf of bread on the table so we don’t notice the distance, don’t feel them
    missing.
    We understand, though, that we are to blame; we rise from our sleep and say:
    “Let me burn the flame tonight,” or “You’ve worked too hard today.”

    We strike a match; she turns, drifts slowly out of sight, her gaze
    inexplicably fixed on the dull kitchen light. Her back,
    a bitter slope, bears the weight of death:
    family dead, her dead, our own death.

    We listen; ancient floorboards creak under her footsteps,
    dried streaks of water stain dishes in the dish rack—listen…
    there’s the train come to take our soldiers to the front.