After everything else
there are still strings of lights
blinking out stars and trees,
outlining frames of houses,
holding off the dark for
one more night.
The winter sky is clear enough
to almost see tomorrow.
I stood in the snow and tried
but my feet got cold too soon
to make it out.
What the last lights show best
is the darkness of other houses.
You walk with me now Love,
but I’m seeing when you won’t.
All I have to struggle with may
not keep you beside me.
This street is a thousand streets.
This evening it’s ours, but it will be
mine and yours. After different jobs and
other deaths and births and tragedies
we couldn’t believe right now.
You may walk this street in another city,
in another winter. You’ll still be feeling
everything this year took away, but it
will be under your skin by then, too
blurry to name anymore.
By then it will be an ache in your shoulders,
a constant pull to turn around. If you listen,
you’ll see the shape of me, or someone who
looks a lot like me, about to disappear around
a corner. Maybe you’ll love me again for that
familiar second and almost call my name.
but the wind will sting your cheeks
and you’ll think of a dark house in January
the night after all the lights were taken down.