I rolled your joints all summer,
licked the sugary glue and sealed in your
Sleepy eyes and slow kisses.
In the loosely knotted bindings that held together my ideas then
About spared air and portraits of sea creatures,
I sealed summer hopefully for good.
I used the humid afternoons spent
Rolling the tumbled words plucked gingerly in your wake.
I laid out our mornings together, end to end
So as to dry out the waters in the stems
Reaching down through our sheets bright and early
To take root in us,
Leafy green still,
Not dry or browned,
lush and lusty still.
Autumn came sudden like a rebound, fooling you
With warm colors draping themselves like delicate scarves
On the branches of the gnarled oaks
that have framed your walk home for years now.
You’d think it was the sun
Fiery umber orange
If you didn’t know so well the warmth of your own.
Like I know you,
Like I knew it wouldn’t matter how close I got,
Closer and closer is never close enough.
The air around you used to bunch together,
Anxious like me
To rise up and be exhaled into silence
safe in the space
Under your ribs.
But that still wasn’t close enough for me,
Still didn’t pull me into place in the muscle that matters.
It’s winter now,
And when you called me for coffee
I rolled you a joint for our summer’s sake.
And as I limply grasped a matchbook
Between the achy fingers that may or may not be
Stiff with cold
But more likely, may or may not
Just want more to hold,
You said to me,
“It’s winter now,
And the smoke just burns my lungs.”