for L.T. Rest in adventure, friend… you are cherished and remembered forever.

if you read between the lines
that striate my iris,

you’ll find a hidden reservoir of blue
with a name written on the other side
in invisible ink—

a poem written so long ago
and with such a young and heavy hand
that pen trespassed paper and broke into sky,

until I cried because no page could contain
the words that could describe him—

a many-volumed encyclopedia was required
just to codify each moment in his presence:
innocent Minoan friezes of memory:
a lost cult of beauty
that in its fragility,
was forgotten in the utility of Rome

and whenever I remember birds,
I think of him
and each petaled, faded detail
I somehow buried
because I felt unworthy
of such tenderness

and the way he stayed so high
but always returned to my finger
to tell me of the strangeness of heaven

and in dreams, I chase a whisper
through stone cloisters and attics,
and despite dust swirls indicating a recent presence,
all exits are locked
and the fire escape too
and there is no way to reclaim this mystery of wings,
no way to enter this room
that somehow I thought I could always come home to—

and how I’ve looked and looked for his pale blue smile
until the homesickness makes me dry heave
but the power’s gone out
and I’ve lost the map
and he’s gone and swallowed the skeleton key.

Sometimes I wonder if I light a match,
if the night will release him to me
like a sphinx moth
with a report from the other side,
but then I remember this glass separating us,
but so palpably—

there’s no comfort in archaeology,
in this unearthing and sorting of relics:
stripped of their contexts,
tagged and body-bagged
with reports on pathology and cause,
shipped to safe havens of conservation
with relevant fragments on public display

but even technology won’t save them
from this monsoon
that keeps me under lock and key—

and there’s no solace at all
in these rains that fall endlessly,
awakening pastel trees of memory
when each flower only serves to adorn the dead.

© Psyche Marks 2010

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