I can’t imagine falling through weightless clouds,
the way a heavy breast falls from a wired cup;
a gimpy foot falls with each deliberate, uneven step;
the way a car glides over a cliff in an ending you want to forget,
the story good except for that.
I meant to hold you more.
Please, imagine that I did. Consider how
not holding you
allowed the weight of my grief
to take me
to wherever it is you went.
Home is a sky for lumbering birds.
All that blue makes you confess
and you become what you are
without thinking. Without even trying.
Gulls storm the ledges. Don’t get too close
to what you want.
You try and then forget.
I think everyone who matters forgets.
would have loved you most
as she watched you falling,
and a sister would have
painted your name on a boat.
You name and wings. Plus
a devil’s tail anchor. She would have understood
We can only imagine what you wanted,
what you saw of us on the ground, waving frantically,
happy at first you were flying,
then swimming out to find you in the brilliant surf.
Editor’s Note: This poem illustrates the challenge of loving someone through difficult (and perhaps destructive) choices with painful clarity.