I remember in Colombo waking up the first night:
It is not yet dawn,
I am sweating under the creak of the ceiling fan and
In this moment I am certain that
You are going to die tonight.
Me, thousands of miles away
Decades late in grasping the enormity of
[The loneliness of]
Me and you
She and her
Mother lion, one cub,
Choking here on humid terror
For all the stories I have yet to hear you repeat.
You and me.
Fused at the seams that run along our
Matching stubbornly set lips,
We have shared everything after loss.
You, alone again in the home you nested for me
Patiently waiting for the day
I see you again, in a way that has nothing do with airplanes
Or distance, or my humid summer ways.
I have never felt a fear so sickening as
The reality of your mortality.
Mother of mine that I do not know
Recognize me when I return
(so long it seemed then) and
If I am so foolishly lucky
Let me see you breathe in one more
Not yet spent chuckle or
speculated word of wisdom.
It seems silly now,
It was probably just a dream,
More to do with morning storms or my jet lag but
All the same
When I wake up now,
This fan is on low,
So as to be sure I can hear
When you breathe even