Part One

I always used to
Write about death, and
I've never experienced grief
Or death.

And this morning I
Saw you and
You stood there,
Green and
Scented with a past both of us
Would rather forget, I think.
You talked,
Laughed and
An idea flew across the plains
Of my mind like a strike of lightning, shimmering
Over the dirt of my ego:

You never said anything to me
You didn't say to anyone else.

I've never experienced death in the same way as you.
I might not ever experience grief
As you have.

And so I'm sorry to
Myself, but
Also to you. I must have seemed
Speak about death the same way you would.

I see
a white column which has
Fallen to the muddy ramparts of my garden
Shining in the moonlight.
In the silvery glow
Ivy creeps around its trunk.

I realize, staring at that tree that
You never loved me.
And you never will and
I can't talk about death
Unless it's my own.

Part Two

I used to
Write about the stars
As if it would attract you or
Bring you closer to me than them.
Those shining celestial
Planes that
We can't even see anymore.
And I realize that's all we had:
A sickly, almost black sky that
Was the same in Knoxville as
Anywhere else; It was punctuated by light pollution and the eventual
Stuttering collapse that comes at dawn
Every morning.

And to me,
The stars are as gone as
Two droplets of water slipping out
Of a tea glass or
Two leaves separated by a gust of chilling autumn wind.

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