Author | Michael Sandler

Something itches just beyond my reach.
Not a nose tingling in the dentist chair,
more like the phantom toe of an amputee—
though it insists, my hand can’t make it there.

A transcendental urge I need to scratch
to cope with randomness? Insensate fear
that meanings pass? Intangibility
makes the discomfort worse, it isn’t fair,

which brings me to your missing lover’s touch
that pacified these rubors of despair.
It rubs me how relief is transitory:
your deft fingers, abrogated too quickly…
save for a corrective dream where your grazes—
teasingly stroked as a cat’s paw—abrade me.

About the Author

Michael Sandler’s poems have appeared in more than 30 journals, including California Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Zone 3.   For his day job, he works in the Seattle area as an arbitrator.