Don’t blame him for his choice. I’ve seen what that place does to a man. I’ve seen the ruddy glow of life pale beneath harsh fluorescent lights and ammonia stench. I’ve watched plastic tubes siphon the will to fight back. I wouldn’t have wanted it either, had I known it would do no good; had I any warning or choice or power at all in those final days. I didn’t, though – but you do. So honor his choice. We aren’t meant for our last sight to be cold white walls, the last sound we hear shrill machinery, our last sense a thin mattress and linen washed to tissue paper. We aren’t mean to pass our last moments in a place where our loved ones can’t hold us. Don’t let that place take him from you even before death does.
I am learning grief
its flash floods and minus tides
her heart a molten core
her skin the grains of mountains weathered by wind and rain and ice and time
her nails delicate pink seashells
her eyes the flashing of lighthouses beckoning lost ships
her hair a tangle of cedar boughs and blackberry vines and cold, clear creeks
her shoulders mountains capped in snow
her breasts beach dunes brushed by wind and waves
her feet granite, her legs layers of glacial till and volcanic ash
her hips the curved bays of rocky shores
her scent rainstorms and sea salt and wet animal musk
her lips red as summer’s prize apples
her smile daffodils breaking through winter dead fall
her voice the susurration of wavelets, her laughter bird calls
her presence the ripe harvest moon, heavy and gold in a velvet sky
You’re my raven-haired goddess who swallowed the sun,
sisterlover to my lunar body.
Let me warm myself on the hearth of your breast;
let me melt into your polished amber curves.
And when you doubt yourself,
let your radiance cast me in light and shadow;
I will show you the reflection of your beauty on my face.
I could not share you, not even a sliver. Perhaps that makes me selfish; perhaps that makes me wise. I try to imagine you laughing with someone the way you laugh with me, for once truly at peace, and jealousy tightens around my lungs. I try to imagine you cooking dinner for someone else and running into their arms when they walk through the door and my heart constricts. I can share you with friends and family. I can spare you for the hours each day we both have to work. But stand by while a portion of your affection, your body, your love is gifted to another? I would shatter. I would crumble. I may not believe myself worthy of your devotion, but I’m still selfish enough to hoard the candlelight in your eyes and the poetry on your lips. Those are mine. You are mine.