bones

He stands in the gap between
the frozen birch trees
and looks back, hair in his eye.
I catch a glimmer maybe.
His glasses are gone; his
jeans are still faded.
I think of my frozen feet on
this icy ground
in this frost where I
don’t belong;
he would’ve spoken but I guess
you can’t say anything in limbo.
I am pale and small here,
I slip away—back—and he moves
forward to the dark crevices
between the knobby white bones
of the woods.
It is all so quick
I forget to smile back
to say I love you
to say goodbye.
It’s too late, my genes tell me—
thoughts echo in this space, gives
them room to be heard.
A fog corners my eyes as
smaller and smaller he goes,
cantering on those long limbs
I used to cling to; limbs
that used to carry me
while the furnace kicked and hummed
and the chimney grew a cloud outside
when branches snapped from the cold
and crystallized in the season
when everything curls
up to hide.
I missed him there.
I missed him, again, here
but there’s nothing to say or see
but a half-smile
swallowed up by October.

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