The long day is over.
Smiles wore creases into our cheeks.
Hugs goodbye never strong enough to hold us
In time.

Now we carry ourselves home.
On the train, she begins to tug at my sleeves
Like an impatient child.
“Is it my turn now?”

Sometimes I resist.
Eventually, I relent. Yes,
I sigh, and start up some familiar tune.
It is your turn now.

I do not love her.
Yet she is my most intimate partner,
More loyal than any friend
And never too far away.

We settle in
To this groove worn as the imprint in a bed,
In the softest of pillows. It is comfortable.
It is mine.

She has fluffed it just for me.
As she does each day, waiting her turn,
Knowing that I will always come back in the end.

Only after I’ve settled in do I remember
How she blocks out the light
With cold, grey hands.

— — —


“What flavor is the emptiness?”

all that came to mind was blood, and warm stone.

a cave full of unnameable shadows.

— — —


You don’t know what it’s taken to keep hold of this jagged face
Clawing, nail-on-slate
In a body weary and begging only for rest
Winds battering, skin tattering
I crawl

So why ask me, daunted traveler
(If you traverse this ledge I’ve mounted)
To proffer my aching hand
(My twinging back)
And boost you onward
(Scraping salve from skin)

A professional lifelong learner.

A professional lifelong learner.