Surprises

It isn’t linear,

This life.

Holding on to expectations

You’re never able to reach

Only to notice the plans

Changing right in front of you.

A woman, dying in your arms

Making a spontaneous recovery,

A close friend with plans

all coming together

Facing a tragic end.

A tried and true,

Middle of the road

Solid relationship

Ending without cause or explanation

While the dark horse

Who always strung you along

Finally making big plans.

Finally giving in to a shared love.

This life,

It’s out of our hands.

Rather, it’s a roll of the dice,

Sometimes turning out

Just as you’d expect,

While others,

Changing the course of history.

Take it as it comes,

This life.

As it is better to move with the current

Than to fight against it.

A battle you would never win anyway.

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Two Sides.

I love the way you hold me,

Handling me like I’m fragile

I love the way your fingers

Press against my skin,

With intention.

The way you watch me

from the distance;

You love being around me.

I’m filled with content.

It’s simple. Kind. Sweet.

You don’t lead with the sex

But you’re sexy.

I love your smile,

Your ease,

Your stubborn rigidity,

Keeping you from that

Very. Last. Inch.

I love your eyes on me

And your full-body hugs.

Your timidity,

Your candor.

No ego, or bravado.

And yet,

You’re a hip hopping,

Globe trotting,

Scout spotting badass,

With a heart full of gold

And body full of swagger.

Little Bird

I love the way

Your eyes wrinkle

With delight

When you are looking at me.

I love how calm

It always seems you are

When we meet in silence.

Is it that easy,

When we strip away

All the expectations?

I love all the ways

You make me laugh

How you tell stories

That sometimes make

little sense,

And I never care to know why.

Sometimes, even,

I admire your open hesitation

To give into

What you know

Your heart desires.

What courage must it take

To resist what you want,

In return

for safety.

Pay no mind,

Little bird,

I’ll be here

When you feel sure enough

To approach my embrace,

To be your friend,

To mind after your heart.

If only to see

You break into a smile

One last time.

Goodbyes

I’m watching you,

Here in my arms

Your breath, faint,

On my skin.

Your skin,

Thin and tender,

Cooler still,

Despite attempts

To keep you warm.

You look at me,

Between this world and the next,

Your soul

Lingering in the air

Above the home

That is now your body,

It fights to stay

But knows

It must leave.

My gentle friend,

I’ll keep you close

Warm you still

Until the breath

That becomes your last.

Dropping into Stillness

It has been a week

Of weakness,

Full of reminders

That despite my best efforts

I am merely a mortal

Looking, longing

To be loved.

Oh, but aren’t we all?

It’s isolating, that search

For companionship.

We want space to be whole

But to reach out

Our outstretched arms

And touch another who knows

The depths of our soul.

When waves of grief

Overrun our simplest of synapses,

When emotional pain

Overwhelms the physical existence,

That is when I know,

With assurance,

We are all part of this greater whole.

Bigger than our bodies,

Deeper than our minds,

We hold consciousness

Together.

Sometimes, we must break

So that the pieces

End up

In the right places.

Moments

We used to drink

Out of little red cups,

Eating warm cookies,

Our feet not quite

Touching the floor.

Your spontaneous laugh,

Infectious,

Echoed through the house

Warm from Grandma’s oven.

You found me once,

Sitting in a grassy corner

Of the yard where we’d play

And you reminded me

We’re family.

We’d summer in Oregon,

Lie on our backs

After days on the lake,

Looking at the stars.

Telling stories,

Sharing secrets,

Acknowledging the demons

Trapped inside us both.

Getting stronger as we aged,

We hoped for more.

After I nearly

Let the darkness consume me,

When no one else

Stood by my side,

You’d pick me up,

Linking my arm with yours,

Force me to laugh, to scream

To dance, to bowl

And you reminded me,

We’re friends.

We spent winter nights

Spinning records,

Watching movies

You taught me to drive,

To dirt bike in the desert,

To laugh, to live with abandon.

In the moment,

For the moments.

At my sister’s funeral,

I fell apart

You never left my side,

Holding my hand,

Whispering memories

Of better times,

Sneaking me coffee,

Imagining

Times to come,

And you reminded me,

You’re always there.

We laughed,

We played,

We cried,

We danced.

Every childhood memory,

Every Christmas party,

Every family photo,

Every Oregon summer

Brought us closer.

When the darkness came,

When the war waged,

When the family fell away,

You reached out your hand.

Why didn’t you ask for mine

When night came for you?

Now all we have

Are memories,

Moments,

Imprinted in pixels

Reflections of the past.

And in your children,

Your blood,

A hope for the future

You once helped me see.

Always family,

Always friends,

You live on in me

If only,

In the moments.