what has been lost

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

one step closer

I do not inhabit this place
though I walk the rooms
shake out the sheets
and chase the dust
from the corners
where it congregates
every time I look away
this strange floor feel
beneath bare feet
even my toes know
it is not home
without worn wood
and moldings older
than I
once more
the partitioning of boxes
the categorizing of myself
and what can be stored
which pieces I need
in order to breathe
one step closer
one floor nearer
to home

© Sarah Whiteley