Last Day Together

Jun 10, 2016 by

I watch you over the top of
the investigation report, creating
work, the subtle flicker of concentration you direct
at stacks of paperwork on your desk, shuffling
and separating one pile from itself,
your yellow sleeves brushing the folders
as we attempt to forget the other is there.

I break and fall on the diagrams of foil cocoons
in my hands, the pages of sterilized words
(pants green and intact at waistband, yellow
shirt visible at wrists, rest missing)
(glove left hand shrunk 50%, fusee
found under body, rest unrecoverable) which
I examine like a lump of lead, study
the details as a general prepares for war.

I remember once you came and crumpled in
a pile of elbows and knees at my feet
and slumped your shape into my lap like
a shelter,
and I a talisman, by proximity
keep you safe, your reckless battle-charm
and the fruitless risks of your past.

But the smell of smoke got into your blood
and your clothes, and
my collected and distant heart steeled-sad for
everyone, and those of us still here, who have
no fate yet, who don't yet know it.
As I read my mind wanders to our length of string
and what exquisite happiness
and sorrow you and I are marked for.

I look up and when your eyes meet mine again across the room,
they are filled with sadness and flames.

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