Absence holds the center. Not deer, badger, fox.
Absence persists, and absence bothers.
We seek confrontation. And then shelter.
A palm chafes lightly over rough skin,
enough to irritate, but not abrade.
And without us realizing, absence passes through,
all around, like a white wind over the cold hills.
Up kicks a ghostly coyote, maybe catamount,
shuttering in the low brush.
Taken far from the heart.