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 more time.

Advertisements

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.

Like Wales

You have the kindest eyes.

And a gentle, tender smile.

Sometimes I dream

Of memories

That haven’t happened yet.

You’re gentle.

You’re more gentle than I’m used to.

But I want your tenderness

For the rest of my life.

I used to want to be handled,

And then I met you.

You’re the perfect weather

For a cozy sweater

A flask of coffee

A leisurely walk

With brisk wind,

Embracing our cheeks.

Your hands, cold,

like my body,

Perfect temperatures

For our embrace.

You hold me

Without expectation

Without ulterior motive

With care,

With ease,

With simplicity.

I want your arms around me

Forever.

I love you like a fog

I love you like a fire

Crackling in the hearth

Of my heart.

Your heart is warm

Like old Scotch in my belly.

You make me giddy

Smile with glee.

I could drink

Your kind smile,

The same beautiful taste

Hitting my lips

Day in, day out,

Swirling in your orbit

For the rest of time.

Success or Failure?

This is a tough one for me to admit.

I’m not sure which scares me more:

The thought of rejection, or of acceptance.

Perhaps, it’s because acceptance

Means vulnerability,

And, perhaps, because what that means

Is susceptibility to just more pain.

I fell in love, once.

It took me three committed years,

Where I felt truly loved,

Day in, day out,

For me to exhale.

For me to stop waiting

For the other shoe to drop.

Ironically, in the exact moment

I did let my guard down

He uttered the words,

“This isn’t working for me.”

Had something changed?

Had I cracked something so fragile?

And yet, risk is the only way.

Perhaps there’s another way,

But not for me.

The only way

To get your dream job

To have your dream life

To fall in love.

But,

What if you get it?

What happens then?

Things fall together and apart

All the time.

We have no control and yet

We want to hold on,

So tightly,

To what we want

Only to realize that everything changes.

How do we hold this paradox,

This fragile, nearly broken box,

The space between

Pain and freedom

Desire and rejection

Birth and death?

How can we

Just be,

Just breathe?