Fade

When I met you, looked deep into 

those black, velvety eyes,

I knew I’d found my muse, 

a Blue jay: ashen, muted grief,

steel-blue quietude and 

a mosaic brilliance concealed

except when you glided 

on wings of poetry, 

the Cherry Blossom tunnel 

I walked through 

all those years, stooped, 

no longer seemed dreary, 

and as I read between the lines

you wrote, knowing you 

and finding me in those spaces,

I stopped and looked up at the steeple 

of the old Methodist

Chapel in that quiet cul-de-sac 

not far from where we lived 

and watched creation waltzing

with stern architecture 

with her golden auburn feet,

like you’d put it, I stood there 

and waited for nightfall

and for once perceived 

the stars in that simple

yet transcendent way you saw them, 

and I felt the beauty 

only you could capture,

but life has this uncanny knack 

of separating us from the people

we hold most dear, 

often they move away slowly like

glaciers and that hurt ebbs with time, 

but sometimes they’re

taken from us in ways 

we never fathomed, and that grief

flows through our veins like lava, 

burning with remorse,

an indomitable regret, 

I should have done more, maybe

just a gentle hold of 

that cascading brown hair, 

or a soft kiss at dawn,

I should have read deeper 

and found that though your

verse reflected love, 

there were undercurrents of

hopelessness threatening to drown you, 

I should have fought harder, 

but these words are silent sighs now,

just abstract hope like the 

Minister of the church gave me

when he said, 

“God took her in that dark way,” 

but he wasn’t there when I came home 

and saw that diagonal slash, 

the red puddle that still 

stains sleepless nights,

he didn’t hear my shaking 

plea for grace,

wondering in bewilderment

if I’d loved your sonnets more

than you, clasping those 

delicate, Petrarchan fingers

and gazing at the ideal, 

and he certainly didn’t

read the last love poem I ever wrote 

fighting both volatile anger

and calamitous sorrow, 

those final scribbles on a sheet

in which I enclosed the 

ring I gave you, placing a

pearl back in an oyster shell, 

laying it on the light brown

coffin, and trying futilely 

to let everything fade.

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