once more i am hunting for le mot juste,
upturning my pillows
and the cups in the drainboard; i've checked
the mailbox, the keyhole, the washing machine,
the dark slender gaps between the books on the high shelf,
and the backs
(and middles and fronts)
of drawers. i have even
turned my pockets inside out,
peered into the splintered pile of firewood
and carved away the hard wax
from the necks of half-burnt tapers.
it is three in the morning now
and still, the small thing eludes me.
when i go hunting again i find:
an earring i thought was gone for good,
an hour to nap while the moon rises,
an unopened birthday card
you sent me after all –
and i forget,
i am looking for.