for a while

you were the sea

and no more could
I turn you away
than a sparrow could
the rumblings of a storm

but for a while
I wore you like raindrops
on feathers

© Sarah Whiteley


a few dried blooms

I have reconciled myself to much lately
perhaps too much so
and now the hydrangeas
have lost their azure
bleached to bone-papered petals
kissed too closely by the sun
come fall I would have picked
bloom by bloom the dusky blues
and purples from their globes
as they dried for a bit of color
to scatter across the table
but today the possibility
vanished into dry disappointment
if I could just instead pluck
a few small pieces from the sky
of that certain blue with the gold-tinged
hue of days’ slow slide into early autumn
I would not so mind the loss
of a few dried blooms

© Sarah Whiteley

letters to _____ – vii

in the fading hours
when light rolls
thin as skin
into the deepening blue
of shared night
I am as alive with you
in this dark
as the night insects
who wake to vibrate
each leaf into being
even by the stars
you remain sun-dipped
and redolent of day’s heat
I would have you tight held
and as wanting as I
exchanging breath
for pulse and tendons
taut with expectancy
for the benediction
of pressed palms
and the song I become
beneath your fingers
all questions of want
addressed by lines of proof
laid down by mouth
to shadowed curve
but more than all
I would have
the quiet best of you
close carried as the self’s
most secret pleasures
sealed safe
in hallowed certainty
beneath exalted night

© Sarah Whiteley

a finer way of falling

you were not there
while I waited beneath
the sudden rain for a bus
that moved somehow
swifter for not
carrying you along with me
as if Time slows
within your sphere
pausing for the same
hint of hesitation
I seek out each morning
that your eyes slide
unheedingly on
even the driver sees
it is you I read
and not the book
lying agape upon my lap
but it was when
you were not there
that soft and sudden
I discovered how this
untouched want may be
a finer way of falling

© Sarah Whiteley