I would have met you at the water if I
were then without a daughter; I would have
held your hand–I’ve known you before.
I would have decided on the hour–on
instinctual impulse–when the lower
haze of swaying moods send me down.
I would have called you I bet,
and the moon would’ve been full and
I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown
to meet you at the edge.
We would’ve known, I think, not to speak
about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting
across pale dandelions between our toes.
But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,
and I dare say it’s like breathing under water
in a beautiful menagerie of imagination
where thoughts come with a reign and scale–
for weight, not matter.
But sometimes, like those nights we’d dive,
I fear my words are pebbles,
I risk giving them meaning and shape
and find shame from their sudden emptiness,
I fear it’s left me
until I think of you–my shared reflection
in the water, you with so much more grace,
but I can only build you up as a writer
and a fighter
and I drop a little stone to wrinkle you away
and I see my face, blurry and rippled,
brilliant in the moon.