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Sometimes, while I write, I put a pile of books on the table next to me. From time to time, I touch the pile, hoping for some osmosis of language. Hoping for rhythm. For courage. Yesterday, my hand was on Margaret Drabble, Elizabeth Strout, Ada Limón.

I have dog-eared you, marked the parts I hope to remember, the parts I want to revisit. They prod me on during these crisis-hot days, during the times of the night when I wake and stare at the moon-blue ceiling. Right now, while we worry our hands over America, over the lump on the flank of the dog, over the parched soil in the backyard, my hand is on the pile.

I am reaching for you. My hand is on you. I wonder if you know it, that I place my hand there, on the tenderest part. Just hoping. Just feeling my way forward.


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