i. (you)
Murky murders of a mother preoccupy our surfaces
of pain, they hold the watery yolk of our hearts
in hands encrusted with carefully-tended callouses, bob up
a surface of a premonition murmurs, coming
towards me in musky mirrors, approaching, asking me
why did i have to go.

ii. (me)
It was my birthday, and it seems
Our traditions wrought from guilt are coming
to a close. It wasn’t the first time you forgot my birthday,
or didn’t speak to me on my birthday, but that is where the money
       comes in, 
always weeks later, no note attached.
A tangible apology of sorts, to your most forgettable child. The first time
I tasted somebody else’s spit, you smeared it haphazardly against my lips,
and told me not to go outside anymore.

I’m twenty-one. I think I have been old forever,
having grown up in dimming skies, in a world that is coming to a close.
        And wisdom
at my age is not an achievement, but a mark of incurred pain,
I should be stupid and dumb
and reckless. I should learn these things later. But I have learned
        to greet dawn when
the moon is full, and lilies are waning in the yard.
       I think you cannot love me
anymore, really. I think your love is an emergency,
an immediacy that you unpack only when it is petulantly demanded.
That is why sometimes you wake up and find yourself surrounded by
monsters, and then you like to say that this isn’t your fault. Sometimes
your consequences make you cry.

I’m doing fine. I was made to do fine I think,
I’ll do worse without you, but
I always have.

iii. (us)
In a way, this is our ballad,
twin dances of absence that spiral away and away. The
farther we spin from each other, the more palpable we become
      to each other.
We are the gaps between our hearts, and our relationship
is tangible air.

It always has been, when you wouldn’t hold
my hand in the grocery store line when I was seven,
      when you’d refuse to say
my name for six days because you almost forgot it,
      because I was reading too quietly
and I was eleven. I couldn’t be real when I was next to you,
and I am not real when I am without you,
but you still miss me.

I love you, but it isn’t enough.

Like a ship moored by distance, we see each other fully only as
the last of winking twilight.

of nineteen years, you got nineteen years, of nineteen years
of doing nothing.
of sitting in rooms and saying nothing and expecting me
to never go.

Applied Zen—Creating the World Around Us
The Least of These