the hours of you that remain

we say goodnight,
then goodnight,
and once more a goodnight
of softening kisses –
just as the dawn
cracks the night

I count the hours of you
that remain to me,
and tuck them about us –
thin comfort against
the coming light

© Sarah Whiteley

Advertisements

the skill of forgetting

the skill of forgetting –
more than a little like whittling –

slow and methodical,
always the blade pointed away

from a body, lightly curled
over the casually dwindling medium

those of us who have become
proficient at this

have learned even to hum a bit –
something slightly off-key,

off-kilter, with words long ago
lost to rag-quilt memory,

something once buried,
but half-summoned up

by letting fly the shavings,
paring away moments most aggrieved

© Sarah Whiteley

this is how

this is how things end then –
with dancing, and a ruined heart

unexpected and yet somehow not,
since this is you afterall

this is an emptiness that cannot
redeem itself with waiting

but I’ve grown used to thorns,
have almost forgotten the fireflies,

have known always that the flames
could be turned to strike me

and this is the way it goes-
trusting an incautious other with fire

and praying for something other than ash

© Sarah Whiteley

on a day when light is tired

on a day when light is tired,
and creeps just barely
across the floor to nudge
a perhaps foot in recognition
of shared apathy

do not mistake sadness
for a sort of ingratitude –
I am thankful for the hooks
that wrench up the grief
from beneath the calm

it is a change at least
in latitude, a revision
of a current insufferable state
and an airing out of that
which has stagnated within

let light be tired then,
and just barely there –
let us be dim together
and somnolent at least until
some fresher air may rouse us

© Sarah Whiteley

say amen

who gives a damn, anyway?

say amen

and then try to forget
the shape of the hands
you carved your heart to fit

there were just too many
small holes to forgive

the hymn left to sour
the edge of your tongue
was never hallelujah

although we tried
so hard to make it so

but who gives a damn, anyway?

say amen

and then let it go and dance
through the vacancy of places
that should never be absent

quiet the lightning –
there’s no stump left to strike

say amen
not hallelujah
say amen, the end

© Sarah Whiteley

opposite love

on mornings when I am my opposite self,
I do not tuck myself into the chair and do not
sip cautiously at the too hot, too sweet,
too dark coffee from my un-favorite cup

I do not gaze out at the un-regalness
of the crow pine and most certainly do not
recall with satisfaction, or with spreading warmth
the not-stillness of your arm not at rest on my back

on mornings when I am my opposite self,
and you are, of course, un-charming you,
I do not find the emptiness of your pillow
a not-manageable vacancy, until the night
your not-loved head fails to not return

© Sarah Whiteley