Timothy Liu

Without You
November 11, 2012 Liu Timothy

Without You


I was doing just fine, a job, a home,

a life—a salt shaker on the table

in some museum not visited in years


Didn’t know that I was waiting


Didn’t know if I was even awake


Without you I am the diorama’s

glassed-in air, the dew drop

that never falls in a time-lapse photo


Of all the empty tables in my favorite

cafe, why did you have to seat yourself

next to mine, taking away a view


I’ll never get back?


Without you I’m a tray of coffee mugs

the waitress spills in slow motion

on the night she got fired


“Very expensive coffee” my mother

said for the rest of her life


My mother who sleeps in an urn


Without you I am a lie a child tells

for the very first time


Without you I touch myself and feel

my hand grow alien and strange


Who doesn’t feel curious muscles

fingering their own holes


Without you I am the sound

of a tinkling cymbal and empty brass


Love whomever, then return


For without you, I’d have forgotten

the many doors through which

the world disappears—

Timothy Liu’s latest book is Down Low and Lowdown: Bedside Bottom-Feeder Blues. He lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY. timothyliu.net

(For more information on Timothy Liu, see his website).