somewhere some hundred miles ago, i set
our pages down on the concrete, found a
rock with edges no more jagged than my own,
and set the damn stories down, no more
wringing meaning from my being and
finding the water again stained with you

getting better was training my hands
not to ball themselves into fists, clearing
the drawers of photo strips and small notes
with my name in your handwriting, making
room for the echo of your absence
to tucker itself out, giving my time only to
plants that bear fruit

but, tonight, i have the extra hour, and
my hands are busy putting the polaroids
in order, funny the way the life cycles of
trees help us keep our bearings in
the gentle continuity of time

when i loved you, flowers bloomed through
my aching sternum, ivy stretching its way
up your brick edifice and resolving to
pull down walls through devotion, driving
for hours beneath the darkest skies
just to kiss you good morning, writing
poetry in your language so you
might be willing to read it

and, when you loved me, you
startled at what it was to be seen, not
just watched, but seen, in honest light,
the way your throat caught when
i told you the third thing you
needed to know, and
for the moment, we knew

on the margins of a morning newspaper
dated some five years ago, i wrote
you goodbye, and time has
yellowed everything, softened
jagged edges down to nothing, i
can hold the stories again, lift us
up and set you onto the shelf,
sunflower petals pressed into
the old, hard page

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