[poem] Phone Call: January 30

In ten minutes, you were born
a half-century ago.  Except now
you measure time in lightyears.
Last year, I would call you, kiss your cheek.
This year, I whisper words
to the endless sea you now swim in; the dust
that made our ancestors.

The black does not feel quite so empty.

I won’t lie.
I will love you longer than forever.
I miss you every time I breathe in.
And some days I don’t want the pain to leave—
I’m afraid of forgetting.
But I know that love means marching on,
and somewhere you do too.

There are a million eyes up there; two are yours.
And maybe you can’t see everything,
but see this—
my open hands.  My blurry smile.
My heart–that’s made of half of you—
that’s beating.  That’s still counting out its rhythm.
I will not let loss stop us from living.
I know that makes you proud.  I hope I do.

Today is my half-birthday,
because I’ll always be half-you.


For a brave woman, and the braver son she left behind.
And for my mother, and the mother who is half-her.


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