the words come as shafts of light
lit up on lips through morning blinds
each stain a reminder of some bird shot in mid-flight
or that people made love here or desired to be enveloped
in the comfortable hope of companionship here.
Ill-at-ease in a skin suit that is tarnished and frayed.
There is only one way out but that seems too complicated
too final, too doused with remorse to remain viable.
This is a real situation for the most benign of clowns.
What's past is past while the labor of forgetting is more
than all the field hands lift spirits to feed mouths
with rain-soaked strawberries. I've hummed your name in far fields,
I've pressed my nose to the same flowers,
I've licked chocolate from your fingers.
I'm not one of them or even half of them
the sadness of my labor sweeps away all the joy that came before
this day, it's conclusion so sullied by emotion, where it crests
or blooms but is not forgotten. I'm trying.