Night Shift by Simon Armitage
Once again I have missed you by moments;
steam hugs the rim of the just-boiled kettle,
water in the pipes finds its own level.
In another room there are other signs
of someone having just left: dust, unsettled
by the sweep of the curtains; the clockwork
contractions of the paraffin heater.
For weeks now we have come and gone, woken
in the acres of empty bedding, written
lipstick love-notes on the bathroom mirror
and in this space we have worked and paid for
we have found ourselves, but lost each other.
Upstairs, at least, there is understanding
in things more telling than lipstick kisses:
the air, still hung with spores of your hairspray;
body-heat stowed in the crumpled duvet.
(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)