poppy-winged

if I could fold wings for words
of red-petaled poppies
and affix them gently with a pin
I would launch a fleet of these
to flit and twit as sparrows
and settle in your trees
and whispering arrange themselves
so that waking you will see
poppy-winged my heart
spell out the love
that sleeps in me

© Sarah Whiteley

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a small goodbye

did you mark how I watched,
taking stealthy measure
of the space (three paces) between
– flinging distance –
but I, too shy to chance it
make this then a small goodbye
though the soft twistings of your hands,
fingers among fingers,
twisted me unbearably into longing
and I, whose fingers
held the maybe of yours,
could not keep you
and could not let you go

© Sarah Whiteley

remembering in October

mine is not a life without sky
but like a pebble pocketed
and half forgotten
my fingers will brush
the cool smoothness of you
and be startled into sadness
for the space of a long heartbeat
or a breath lightly held
before moving on beneath
the sighing lull of yellowing trees
mine is not a life without sky
though there are times
I can feel the edges of it
following along beside
wearing your scent,
carrying your sound,
and casting our words
to the leaves at my feet

© Sarah Whiteley

breathing

you steal the breeze
and there is nothing stirring left
to remind me what is breathing
and in the dark hours
the desert trembles green
between the sorrows
and the seams
remembering the silence
of trees and the between-times
the brightness of uncaged stars
and of strangers soundless touching
made unstrange in hunger shared
our hands were perfect maps
of the cracks between our feet
and yet I could not find a way
you are the unfound trail
through still tides
and skies unmoving
you are this
and everything besides
what is breathing

© Sarah Whiteley