Somewhere in the past, both yours and mine— maybe closer to the year of our birth, or maybe closer to another century or another age in history— some mothers of our many mothers were forced to do what they did not want to do— made to receive the seed of another— the dark product of evolution that ensured our species would be fruitful and strong enough to rise up – to touch enlightenment and create, one day, a mandate that women should have a say over when or if they bear a child— and we thought we saw a beautiful light coming through the tunnel but it was an army of men carrying torches— afraid women had grown too powerful to control.
Oh you, dizzy with boredom, I cannot complete you. I can only fill one of your myriad vacancies with whatever it is you do with your imagination when you are alone in the silence of possibility. Best if you don’t come any closer or I might find a reason to wonder about your day and how you fill it— and then every question would lead to an answer you would try to make sound true.
“Sunlight on the Floor” by Vilhelm Hammershoi, 1901
Maybe we are only three quarters of the way through, and not really over– like all the movies where two people fall in love and it looks like everything will be okay if not perfect but some awful terrible truth tears them apart and as you’re watching it all unfold as a spectator you know exactly what each of the lovers should or shouldn’t do but both of them think the other is lost beyond hope but if one of them would simply do or say or show one single vulnerability, everything would correct straighten brighten And I wonder if you and I might have something like the rest of our lives to love together if one or both of us would realize that our happy ending depends on us not being apart.
Some days are so filled with bits and pieces of everything I can remember I long for the pillow that I roll into and put my arm around as if you would be there ready for me to love you in every possible way.
My love died when we died and it never grew back for anyone not even like a little weed that might have sprung up after a pleasant conversation or a picnic or an afternoon walk. Nothing even close to a spark was triggered by shared laughter or beauty or nearness or some common denominator discovered between me and whoever has been trying to step in line after you— and once they believe they’ve established a connection I have to tell them I am only a friend— untouchable, unreachable to everyone since you— but I keep the part about you always to myself.
You don’t know I brought you flowers beautiful silk orange and purple their wire stems stuck into a green brick of Styrofoam it wasn’t my idea dad wanted me to arrange the bouquet for the anniversary of your death and even though I know the flowers are for him to honor your life I feel like he wouldn’t forgive me if I told him I didn’t want to help or spend money or time on traditions that wreck the environment in such an artificial way but I wanted you to know that I love you every day from my location and some people feel grief that doesn’t demand a display so I’ll write you this poem send it into the aether that will gather us all in particle form one day and we will swirl through that massive black hole of oblivion together
I hang on to certain clothes I bought just for you to see me in when we would go out for fun to lunch or dinner or concerts or movies and I can’t quite take them off the hanger when I’m searching for something to wear and I can’t bring myself to take them down lay them out on the bed fold them into squares that should be taken to the thrift shop because you might call one of these days to say hello ask me where I’d like to go.