Gently Still Finding You Between
spirals in the shell you left behind,
on staircases, in tiny unseen rooms,
interstices, hidden ventricles,
auricles collapsed and yet alive,
imaginary origami hearts,
a nautilus still pumping through the days
that lost you in their downy underside
like sepals undernoticed, or a potted
cactus near the window no one looks through.
What liquids had been stored in you for years?
Love or some restrained guffaw or blooming
should have burst through sediment and rock.
So much to say, we found no way to talk.
The droplets never touched the cavern floor —
bonded to the minerals that melt
in geologic time, you are no more,
although your shape still shadows my old thoughts:
a gentle tapping on the window’s cold.
A film of rain coats footprints on the stairs.
Editor’s Note: I’m pleased with how this poem uses imagery to suggest that memory lives in between all the spaces of a life. These detailed pictures (origami, nautilus, the cavern floor) show the narrator’s emotional attachment to a missing loved one without ever coming right out and baldly stating it. [ETA: I’ve been told by the poet that this is blank verse. My apologies for not recognizing the meter.]