I wanted to reach for you, to say with urgency—
Don’t go. Don’t ever go. But it was only after
lunch, early on. So I watched you go. I’ve come
to understand that in that simple moment, I felt
the whole of our life together. On that corner,
it felt like a thumb pressing on the center of my
heart. It stopped my breathing for a second and
in that pause, I knew I had to see you again.
Through the years, I’ve felt my heart indent
that way a handful of times: carrying popcorn
into a theatre and hearing you laugh, seeing
you work wet clay in the yard as yellow leaves
fall, watching you watch the moon above the
winter trees, coming home to see you drip
water from your finger into the mouth a
broken bird. What kind of story is this?
I know you better than anyone and yet
something in you makes me want to
hold you and ask, who are you now?
A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or trusted loved one, sit with them and ask them, “Who are you now?”
This is from my book of poems in progress, Elsewhere.