remember not that you argued
with your sister, but that you sang
in the kitchen alone,
and the house remembered
a sound it had not heard in years.
remember fireflies blinking
slowly in the roadside dark
and a night sky as open
as the Arizona night sky –
remember, on the last night, every star
in the heavens shone on that place.
a comet streaked to the east
bright as a firecracker, potent, silent.
remember the vine that entered the door
and the softness of your father’s voice
and the way his eyes lit up
every time he looked up and saw you there.
remember his pleasure, and his pride.
the way the creek sank when the rain stopped,
the six-part insect harmony every night,
and his hand on your shoulder,
blessing you. remember
his hands when he talks,
his big, precise gestures,
his carefully kept and yellowing fingernails.
the black trees in silhouette
against a star-strewn horizon.
his voice, retelling
the story of your birth – when the nurse
handed you to me, i felt a love
i had never known before.
and it has never stopped.
the scent of honeysuckle,
a redolent night,
that infinite sky.
it has never stopped.
all night my sleep is troubled by bells.
outside, the bronze bell from my wedding,
the arcosanti bell, three leaping fish on the clapper,
plays in the wind of a passing storm.
your love enfolds me from afar, a molecular cloak.
it is in your sweatshirt that i will not take off.
it is in your text messages and phone calls,
and the stray black hair i find on my pillow.
in your absence, i breathe you in
and the wind all night leaps like a fish,
and rings bells upon bells upon bells.
the dawn sky cracks with birdsong.
wild geese fly over in a noisy mass,
autumn spilling from their wingbeats.
you leave my side, your silhouette
disappears through the doorway
into a grey morning, one shadow
vanishing into another.
weeks will pass before i see you again.
i do the only thing i can, and go back to sleep.
winter can wake me when you return.
i woke to blood like a waterfall between my legs
and a spider newly living on the door.
all night i had dreamed you were lying beside me,
our bodies soft with sleep conjoined
the darkness thickened by our linked breath.
in the rising light of day there is only the cat
with her needs as soft as mine,
grandmother spider framed
in sunlit stitches of her own devise,
and the blood between my legs to remind me,
time passes, even in dreams.
you pulled the bruises
off the inside of my heart,
gave them shape, punched them
right on up to the surface
where this broken skin can heal
can be no more than broken skin
no less than a healed heart.
twilight on the farm.
mind full of fragments,
heart full of echoes.
peacock like a car alarm in the dark.
love me, love me, love me, he cries.
venus shining in the shadow of the cottonwoods.
lighted windows in the dusk,
the frogridden pond creaking softly,
fire on the hearth for a cold spring night
that should be summer.
one cat by the fire curled, purrs,
love me, love me, love me.
the cry of every soft thing in the night.