by Katharine Werthwine
inspired by Courtney Nickel’s mini-lesson

I remember the day you stumbled,
Out of the air
When your lungs sputter,
Out of air.

How I kept vigil
That night, brightened
By the fire crackling down your spine.
Your body crackled with pain,
Your bones, kindling. 

Today I stumble,
Out of air
My lungs heave,
Under this heavy air.

And now you keep vigil
This night, brightened
By the blue light of calls that come too late at night.
My grief bright —
Your presence, kindness.


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