by John Skoyles 

And I wrote those reasons 
on the ruled grid 

of an index card 
to preserve the moment, Madam, 

when the panels of the hotel 
elevator closed, 

leaving just us. 
A sigh and a kiss 

did nicely, Lady, 
but when the doors 

opened again, 
you were again nowhere 

near, and now 
the file card’s lost too, 

with its logical 
numerical slate. 

I’ve misplaced this and that 
over the years, Dear, 

but the things I miss most, Miss, 
are listed on that card. 

From The Atlantic (2019) and Yes and No, Carnegie Mellon University Press (2021) 

John Skoyles is professor emeritus of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. He is the author of seven books of poems and five of prose.