Howard Firkin
Pack everything you want to leave behind
in boxes, bags, in piles beneath the bed,
in letters, texts, in things you’ve left unsaid,
and once packed up, dismiss them from your mind.
Now, grab an empty bag, some cash, and go.
I see your body sketched in sweeps of form,
in softened, charcoaled lines that fool my seeing
to hope for touch, and scent, to look for being,
to feel your skin, sweat-smooth, hair-soft, bed-warm;
that hope is past hope. You are gone, I know.

You were, to me, as beautiful as light:
you weren’t the flower, but the way it shone.
Your face, your voice, your walk return each night,
but you, forever only one, you’re gone.