Black Butterflies

We waited to hear and never did—
now winter comes and waiting ends
or all there ever is is waiting.
We’d have settled for mere hailing or
old news or old recriminations—
we long ago gave up on love declared
and other things we thought we knew.
Nights by the fire it’s the past I see—
my dresses and my hats and boots, things
you burned before you burned my books.