a new beginning

how to explain the
feeling of you
next to me?

i felt it easily, that first
night when i told you about
tarantula hawks and
my first climbing lead fall

i remember leaving and
knowing that
you felt it, too.

we’re sitting by the fire
on a chilly december evening,
longing to know one another,
drinking each other in.

“would it be insane if i
kissed you?” you ask in a shy way.

i think about all the ways
my heart was broken
only a few months before

think about the words i said to him,
picture them as shards of glass,
envision them in reverse, not
piercing him, not causing him to bleed
flying back into my mouth where they will
stay and never hurt him.

on this morning, i wake in your bed
and still, though it is dark outside,
a morning glow beams on the horizon
where the snowy san juans are dimly outlined

i feel close to you, feel pulled to you
(we are pulled to each other)

i leave with a loaf of bread in hand,
a tender kiss goodbye
and the promise (no, not promise)
the possibility of
a new beginning

-A

when he watches you walk away

i remember writing you an e-mail
letters
crying in your arms
crying alone on the floor

feeling the weight of all
we were about to lose

clawing at glass
begging for time, patience
your love
another chance

looking for answers in
your tears, words
silence
choices

but you let me go

there is pain in my whole body
and i have decided to allow it
to serve its time and purpose

then, i will be able to let it go –
that is where my power lies

in letting it go

-A

endings/beginnings

i wonder if he’s considered my heart
shattering
when he walks away each time

i wonder if he’s considered my voice
wavering
when i tell him goodbye, goodbye, this is for the best, goodbye

i know i gave him my heart, but does he remember my heart?
does he remember the curve of my spine, hips
the warmth of my skin
as he holds another?

does he remember the love we shared?
the whispers, the tears, the morning tea
and laughter in between bed sheets?
it’s gone now, it has disappeared
but it lingers, for me, in memory

does he remember?
has he considered?

did it exist? did i matter?
if he doesn’t?

is there an end to
remembering?

and if there is

if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it
does it make a sound?

if my relationship ends and there is no one left to remember it,
did it happen? was it important?

where can i go to ease my pain?
not in memory
not in ending

perhaps, in embracing
beginnings

-A

on leaving

for some reason, i start with the refrigerator magnets
the polaroid of us from when you visited
the first place i ever felt myself

we woke up that cold november morning, embracing
to stay warm and we marveled at how
i had never slept a full night in
someone’s arms before

the boxes i am trying to fill are
broken down and i try to tape them
and i wish you were here to help

and last night, your tears fell onto
my pillow as i told you our time together
is growing shorter

i want to believe that love lost still matters
that all we shared over the past few years
doesn’t just disappear
when i walk out the door

when i do step, i see
sunlight and mountains
and all the colors of springtime that
bloom

and even though you are no longer
by my side, i feel you and know

i will never forget you

-A

follow currents

hollow bones
follow currents
invisible as the breath
that fills my lungs

I remember watching the river with you
that summer
learning how to read the current
the flow, the seams, the ripples, the patterns
a language not spoken, but observed

lately, I learn new words
(a virga is a streak
of rain across the sky
that dissipates before ever
touching the ground)

try to name my grief
try to name my guilt
try to name them over and over but they

flow from somewhere else,
not mouth or brain

sit inside spaces
unspoken

and I remember, always, the river
as I look towards the sky
and breathe in
as I dig into the dirt
and observe

currents are wind and water
light and earth
leading and guiding
so that I may follow

-A

wisdom, hard won

i have laid in bed at night
tossing and turning
feeling the absence of your body
next to mine
feeling the absence of your hand
holding mine

cool mornings remind me of the distance
that has crept between us
from a time when, even though
it was summer in the chihuahuan desert,
you would hold me each night and each morning
like a treasure

i have remembered your tears
tried to transform their moisture
into answers to all my questions
about where we went wrong

because even though i packed my bags
and left,
you closed the door behind me

lately, instead, i choose to remember
that my hands hold themselves,
this pen, a garden rake, handlebars
just fine

that i have the tools within me
to cultivate sorrow, loss, and grief into
wisdom, hard won

-A