for you

head so heavy, his body’s been arrested

to bed, to the routine of things

I’m collecting semi-colons for his well-being

but whenever I cross the room

my thoughts shuffle like bingo balls

it takes me a minute to get back to the train

this ring around my finger so I won’t forget

he asked me not to

he said he couldn’t do this alone

most of the time, he says nothing at all

and I know I never mentioned it

but if he dies, this ring will mean

something far too personal for me to keep

we’re all just a bunch of cats

caught in a downpour, aren’t we?

clinging to screen doors, crying

let us in, let us in

no one’s home to undo the locks

I try not to think about it too much

it’s not so easy for others, though


I walk through the woods after sundown

wishing I could send the sensation in the mail

so that he might be able to open his eyes tomorrow:

still; in the middle of the trail; breeze

pushing through the trees; rustling fallen leaves

chirping owls somewhere; overhead

glimpsing fragmented constellations

dark; can’t even see my own hands

I wanted to bring spiders home

I only found slugs instead

maybe I’ll call him and say so

but the image of the house lights

so far away, shrouded in night’s blanket

has me frozen in awe

and what if I could inject this into his veins?

what would he do, paralyzed with wonder—

would that be enough to save

every single one of his cells?

we’re just a bunch of monarch butterflies

raised in captivity, aren’t we? 

released in the wild & dismayed to discover 

we don’t know the difference between 

north and south

we don’t know how to migrate

I try not to think about it too much

it’s not so easy for him, though


I’d put his eyes through a microscope

if only to offer a different perspective

he asked me not to

he said he couldn’t do this alone

his vast stretches of silence can be heard across oceans

and I don’t know how to reconcile these contradictions

except to think about lichen:

in this country, we’d be the crustose variety

resilient; even in poor air quality

I’ll be your algae; you’d be my fungus

keep me; company with your brilliant brain

and I’ll convert the sun; into something manageable

we’d be; self-sustaining

you don’t have to talk much

but know, symbiosis is easier 

recovering mental wellness is easier

if you do

at the risk of sounding like our boss,

I’ll say it again, let me know

in the meantime, I’ll be collecting

semi-colons for your well-being

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