In bed, I feel her body right there,
the firmness of it imprinting shape into mattress,
her breathing, the flapping wings of her lungs —
so it takes years for me to understand
that she shimmers like a hologram,
a love I can pass my hands through,
and what I think I know of her
is not knowledge at all,
not even approximation or semblance,
that for all the words, the language,
the mingling of bodies,
she is a ghost, a wraith
I move towards with all my yearning,
a mirage in the desert,
a watering hole from which I will never drink.
David Adès is an Australian poet whose most recent book Afloat in Light is available through UWA Publishing at https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/afloat-in-light.