Dear Virginia

I would have met you at the water if I
were then without a daughter; I would have
held your hand–my lost keeper.
I would have decided on the hour–on
instinctual impulse–when the lower
haze of swaying moods sends 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 water’s edge.
We would’ve known, I think, not to speak
about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting
across pale dandelions between our toes.
We would’ve sunk so deeply together,
smoothing the stones.
But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,
and it allows you to linger at the surface, just
a breath away from air.
If you were here now would you tell me
my words are not pebbles,
to risk giving them meaning and shape
– to find no shame in their emptiness?
I’m alone, 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 stone to wrinkle you away,
and I see my face, blurry and rippled,
brilliant in the moon.

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