I am not all happiness.
I am not as bitter as your smile
and I have no lips to make me sense -
to curve around my name and give
me more depth than the air,
than the dust I rise from
like the moon, night after night
chasing sunlight across the sky.
I am the antediluvian scrap of flesh
in the corner of my grandfather's eye.
When he laughs, I feel myself folding
with him into my own skin,
into the held-breath slip of sky
I inhabit, into this
airless gap of eternity
where we live solemn together,
my body like an accordion and
his skin crinkling with all
the mirth of his years seasoned
with every war he encountered
and the salt that scarred welts
into his corneas
time and time again.
He touches my face, and I purple with the bruises
the sun inflicted on the flaking-parchment
knowledge of his skin.
We are love.
We are birthday-cake candles
half blown out before
the wish has time to develop.
We are hand-in-hand soldiers
and accidental splotches of red,
blood on lovers' lips.
We are a pattern woven through history,
sporadic and relentless
and beautific in inevitability.
And so we smile for each other,
secretive and mournful and gloriously
and we laugh at words that
have yet to materialize.
**For my Grandpa Clyde... your stories always made me sad and happy at the same time. I
longed for adventure like yours, and I ached for the pain you had to go through, and I loved
and love you very much. I hope you never feel lonely again.