in my mind
there is still warm sun

not from today
or this year
but from years ago
another lifetime

i can still remember
the cool tip of your nose
pressing against my cheek
followed by warm breath
and then a kiss

this is how it happened

illness has left me empty
all this has broken
and scarred
and worn so thin
all that i was

I am now
down to a single thread

but in lunacy
i’ll still hold
this one event

the cool tip of your nose
pressing against my cheek
followed by warm breath
and then a kiss

all of this
will drive me mad

i am ok with this
i have made peace
with losing everything

but not the memory
of warm sun
and a cold nose against
my cheek
not of forgetting warm breath
that spoke a language
without words
and of a kiss
that didn’t leave
with everything else

the butterflies have left
they’ll begin their migration
i suppose this is what
instinct demands of them
they know
it is that simple
during the summer months
they’ll enjoy the bush
in our yard
we planted it for them
they’ll feast on the nectar
they are so busy doing so
i can stand just a few inches away
and they pay me no mind
then one day they’re gone
instinct told them to leave
but intuition doesn’t tell me this
i just wake one day
and notice the leaves are
shifting colors
the butterflies leave well before
but i am too busy
and notice only
when the trees are ablaze
with an intensity that screams
“look at us!”
and i do
i wonder how much
has passed me by
that did not draw my attention
that said “look at us..”
but i only heard the echo
the butterfly bush has passed
the nectar squeezed
they are en route to south america
the trees are
throwing their leaves around
wildly tossing them to the wind
when they are bare
and the butterflies
have finally arrive
maybe then i’ll eventually demand
“look at me!”
and see if you do

i think we’ve
seen this before
haven’t we
looking for shadows
instead of flesh
trying to hear murmurs
rather than words
i have tasted
the salt of skin
and heard the
echo of whispers
but neither
have a pull anymore
though the emptiness
jabs with such
bittersweet needles
my solitude presses slowly
the emptiness of time
to which i have
grown so accustom

a wind moved through me
the season has been changing
i’ve seen it in the sun
and felt it in the air too
i went to look
at the full moon
the other night
they call it a corn moon
it arrives during harvest time
the algonquin tribes
called it that
or so i’m told
that’s when the cool wind stirred
and moved through me
like a breath
a sort of whisper
and i said aloud
to no one
i am just endless husk
no harvest hands need come
to take me

i can’t imagine
we’ll ever find our way back again.
alas, such is departing.
one leaves and might as well
bid farewell to all the known. 
two people, maybe lovers,
or friends,
or family,
will alway seek a return. 
one will say, when arriving,
when at the place that they
thought they remembered,
the place they thought
they left,
‘yes, i’m here.’
and the other
will arrive elsewhere, somewhere,
and say,
‘yes, i’m here.’
that is it.
we arrive again to some place,
any place,
real or just a state of being,
and think it is what we left.
some feel the unease right away. 
they are aware that ‘here’ isn’t ‘here’
and discontent and longing sets-in
like a sickness.
others lead entire lives
only to wake one day and come to 
terms with it,
the knowledge that
the here that isn’t here.
i can’t decide which is worse;
the instant awareness 
or the slow creeping realization.

i don’t go to church anymore
but that’s not what
this is about
i won’t write about religion
i won’t write about
how it tore me
apart inside
or a god that
supposedly judged me
for everything
no i don’t want to write
about that
i was invited to go
to church
a family friend asked
me to take her
so i did
i stood like a statue
not bitterly
not angrily
just waiting til it was over
i always found the rhythm
of a church service interesting
this is what i was thinking about
when an elderly couple
in front me rose for the
100th time
the woman assisted her friend
to his feet
he stood with great difficulty
slowly rising
his body curling upwards
bone by bone
maybe it was her lover
or friend
it doesn’t really matter
the gesture was so beautiful
and kind
so giving
so completely selfless
i thought
as i also rose for the 100th time
this is why i came today
to see this
it had nothing to do with god
nothing to do with
it was its own religion
its own faith
within that simple gesture
was god

spring came. 
each year i wait for it,
i want it,
i am thirsty for it.
then it appears like a magic trick.
that’s how it is, right?
grey skies,
brown leaves,
dead grass.
then green –
a green – so green – so green
it’s fake.
that’s how it is, right?
we forget in the same way.
a memory with talons so deep –
so deep – so deep
it can’t be real,
then they’re gone.

i no longer horde
the berries from my youth
those i would once gather
in the springtime
to savor
in the coming months
and coming years
i now enjoy them
in the moment
sitting in the berry patches
under the gentle strength
of the spring sun

then you arrive
standing there wondering
why you are in such a place
‘why am i here?’
you take the words
you’ve been saying
the words from a language
you no longer speak
and retch them onto the earth
then step aside
and leave them there in the past