Bits of me have loosened, come away
like birch strips, so thin they curl, flutter,
litter earth where unseen creatures trod.
It’s the peculiar renewal of nature,
losing this and that, cells sloughing
with nary a shudder, everything
an invention, old making way for newer.
I dreamed once of an entire heroic life,
believing it likely but the person
I am is not made now of that heart
which floated in heaven’s boat,
soul vibrant as flutey chimes.
I have become other than imagined.
Deepened perhaps but less substantial,
working toward transparency.
More diminished as each one I’ve known
passes through the eye of storms
and into an evermore, far halcyon place.
I am not yet invisible but missing parts-
her laugh that sustained, his silence that
taught, their smiles that unlocked more life,
that brilliant blue eye of family that held the world.
One who offered poetry, a necessary bridge.
And, too, one who came ashore to find me,
then we dove right in from high places.
Now only I stand here, putting on my courage
while bits of me have loosened
like failing, downy petals,
revealing a tender center
where– despite fiery tears,
these worn regrets, swift delights,
sorts of love which defy naming–
you you you you you you
still roam, here, inside this sphere
I yet must inhabit