Here you are, doing things, fixing the car, the lamp, earning a living for you and your son, slipping under Time’s barbed wire, a guerilla who came for a life others thought they owned. You’re learning to fight and to love. You wore toughness like a see-through shirt. Now, you see your naked strength. The knife you gripped between your teeth, tighter and tighter each time he came to you, you drop now into the well they said was poisoned, and hear the ancient cry of the woman waiting there for the signal.
The news of your dying reaches me faster than the news of your living. But why complain? So we didn’t have more time together, and I hardly wrote. I reached where I reached, like you, only sometimes knowing why. Is death more mysterious? Aren’t these days like ashes, scattered here and there? Job, family, standing on line — where it goes is no clearer to me than where you go now, free of your body, as the wind, dying, is free of a kite.
No Other Gods
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” the first commandment warns, and so I warn myself, first thing in the morning, my face breaking into song at the sight of you: the hymn of your hair, its dark chords, your lips half open, themselves on the verge of song.
Sleep rises from you, your breath is wet, my first kiss winds around your last dream. I whisper, “I love you.” My words drop into the well of the world. I hear the splash, make my wish. You open your eyes, it’s granted.
My joy is a high note. Too high? I wonder. A long walk I took, with my sainthood for a crutch, and my eye on love’s horizon. Up the mountain I went, and kept going. There you were, eyes closed, dancing.