Tender, unflinching attention.Two of my favorites from this collection are Aphasia and Enough Music. Aphasiafor Honeya After the stroke all she could saywas Venezuela, pointing to the pitcherwith its bright blue rim, her one wordcommand. And when she drank the clearwater in and gave the glass back,it was Venezuela again, gratitude,maybe, or the word now simplya sigh, like the sky in the window,the pillows a cloudy definitionpropped beneath her head. Pink rosesdying on the bedside table, each fallenpetal a scrap in the shape of a countryshe'd never been to, had never onceexpressed interest in, and nowit was everywhere, in the peachshe lifted, dripping, to her lips,the white tissue in the box, her broodingchildren when they came to visit,baptized with their new name after each kiss. And at nightshe whispered it, dark narcoticin her husbands ear as he bentto listen, her hands fumblingat her buttons, her breasts,holding them up to the lightlike a gift. Venezuela, she said.Enough MusicSometimes, when we're on a long drive,and we've talked enough and listenedto enough music and stopped twice,once to eat, once to see the view,we fall into this rhythm of silence.It swings back and forth between uslike a rope over a lake.Maybe it's what we don't saythat saves us.