Answering Machine Poem by William Waters

Answering Machine Poem

There is no record of us
            nothing to say
                        we were
                                    young and hot in flesh;

There was that rain then
and this thirst now–

            but nowhere is there

                        a carved stone
                        that promises to believe.

I try to remember
            what you felt like
            laughing against my skin

I try to remember
            how those muscles trembled
            and trembled more for trembling some

I try to remember
            exactly how your back arched and turned
            when I kissed you there

but there is only
            these dry leaves moldering
            under another slow rain

William Waters is an associate professor, in the Department of English at the University of Houston Downtown. Along with Sonja Foss, he is coauthor of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation. His research and teaching interests are in writing theory and modern grammar.