Two Poems

The Other Side of Leaving

A resident of breath,
I stop existing from this moment to the next.
Nothing tethers me here anymore,
not heartstrings, not concrete, not even you,
             past lover of exquisite splendor,
             patron of seductions delivered in moist whispers.

Today as breath,
I whisk in and out of your mouth
one last time and part forever.

You look aghast, having assumed
my permanence in the crevices of your body.

I know
             I have not simply left
             but stolen myself from you.

I understand you will
             spend evenings pacing on tundras of despair,
             feel forsaken for many midnights,
             endure breakfasts with a solitary mug for company.

I realize
             informing friends revives
             your turmoil of endless angst,

and thank you
             for defending me against their indignation
             because you still think you will always love me.

But I leave anyway.



Love Before History

When the sea spit out the land,
creatures chose between fins or feet,
wind escaped and learned to fly,
and your essence was given to me.

It rested in dense darkness–
a stone at the bottom of a well,
with only a glint by which to cast its hope–
but our bodies were not yet capable of longing;
we were still solitary drops at sea.

From whispers, our souls
sang themselves into substance.
Bodies grew flesh over sentience,
sprouted hair to net the wind,
eyes to feel light and darkness,
ears to cup music flowing from our hands.

Everything became possible then,
rendering that one, fine moment
when my body knew to arch
toward your shadow in the doorway,
longing to dance in the whirl you stirred in me.

In my darkness, your essence within me awoke,
demanding I give it body by looking at you.