what has been lost

smoke
love remaining half-asked,
with an exile’s hunger,
what have you lost?
smoke never stops moving,
alters nothing, and
leaves irretrievably

when exactly does time
distill us down to fire?
down to accumulated passion?
at what point have we traded
the marked directions
of known constellations
for the possible light
of far, unseen stars?

I carry with me every touch,
each quiet sigh released
beside you, and have lost
precisely nothing

© Sarah Whiteley

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letters to _____ – vi

you should hear then
how I would want
these last words
to be let loose
like jewel-green beetles
to race the hastening day
to scatter scuttling
this final evidence
to your distant ears
love, I rise asunder
each day that wakes
upon your absence
though I am ever
there beside you
for I cannot pull
your breath from mine
nor my love
from the hands
that rightly hold it

© Sarah Whiteley