This paper sea of blue flowers, this watercolor air hung
heavy with warm, yellowing salt and flattened brass;
notes of some aged, dark oil that fled
as smoke from abandoned machines
left to molder in taped boxes stacked in open closets,
the row of windows that sang harmonies of betrayal
when the wind told them its secrets,
your confidences lent to cupboards though there was starlight,
books with books of words blueing in the margins,
the evenly-spaced sparrows that chattered wing-in-wing
along the lowering gable; these things were yours.
But I have swept up in my arms
the rooms that held your smell,
the sheets that warmed you while you slept or were with fever
and could not stop shaking;
I have gathered up all of your empty shoes,
your knives bent by the inept violence
whispering along their dull edges,
your sealed, stamp-less letters addressed to aeronauts and
their sibling satellites whom you adored, though
they were always no nearer than distant;
I have inherited your abbreviated notes,
your fingerprints murmuring on locked doorknobs,
the maps which showed the way
along those rain-slick roads that lead you
so far from me.