(published in Frigg Magazine 2014)
The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,
swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,
cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—
beyond this room, beyond this wall
I can almost hear you—the soil
sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;
folds of light robes around you like
birds’ wings—your child
asleep on your warm back,
your sky a sea, an earth, a breath
because you’re there I’m less anxious
(as I palm another pill) because I rely
on sedated time I sit in my chair,
lost somewhere before the border,
where I see myself later—aged and worn away—
walking to you, palms up.
“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting
for me, time is something else to you—
so I see I don’t have to tell you
where I’ve been or why I am here
but that I’ve arrived
out of the cement tomb.
I see there are no distractions in the sky;
the rise and fall of my chest is all,
seas of breath and I am.
I know the scent of your skin,
the feel of your warm, bent back
beneath my body, I know necessity.
I will arrive
when I am not so afraid of myself.
When I am not so sick.
I will cross into the motherland.
I will go home.
I will leave what I’ve built behind and
I will take my place
among the living.
I can hear you beyond this room.