the departed

bedroom-1082262_640

your departure has the weight of ash

no longer carrying your fate,
I return to my old shape

days hold their same complexities
but night has become startlingly simple –

rucked sheets, wooden bed-frame –
there’s no need to believe in anything else

how is it that you ever fit
inside these walls? inside this time?

I was never a promise –
my hands, my breasts, my breathing –

are sovereign and whole

© Sarah Whiteley

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letters to _____ – i

I do not love you
in that way some have
of losing themselves
until there is no
retrieval of self
know instead I love you
in the way geese gather
and rise gray unto gray
their cries of high, high, high
that into silence fade
I love you in the way
that they in leaving feel
what has been left behind

© Sarah Whiteley

remembering you forgetting me

here, just now, I’ve recalled
how mine are companionless hands
and how the heart curls inward of late,
cradling the curiosity of contrition
in spite of knowing with certainty
I am far more whole now
than I was while trying to fit
bits of you into places
that could not trust the intrusion

dearest love (for you remain thus),
yours will ever be the heart
to which mine responds in kind,
and though we are far beyond bearing
this distance is as none at all
I will rise and break at each cold day
remembering you forgetting me
but hearing more in your silence
than what forgetting conveys

© Sarah Whiteley