It started with a sunset—
you thought that was the best place to ask
and a trip up into the mountains
canoeing over glass.
You receded just a little,
moving out of this world by degrees.
At first it was just the spring:
the blooming made you sneeze.
You and I wove wildflowers and stars and iloveyous:
the world was all around.
We had promised forever,
and the world still echoed our words.
There were summer barbecues
and walks upon the beach;
you receded somewhat more,
and we were cautious in our steps.
The world was still there in you,
glorious autumn pouring down,
photographs in rain,
but you were less in it.
I still felt no constraint,
because the receding happened bit by bit.
Only when the winter came ,
when all the days by artificial light were lit
when babies who’d tumbled in like heaven
had grown too big for bat and ball,
time somehow passed while you were sick—
only then did I recall
the last time we were in the world.
There’d been snow upon the mountains
and babies in our car.
There are no babies now,
no snow or mountains,
and quite a lot of time has passed
since we left the shadow of the peak.
When I go out, I go alone,
and even shelter fails to keep you warm.
Each day has become a waiting game
Of holding breath, but
when I recall the sunsets
and nights beneath the moon,
I realize with sudden clarity
that I am losing you.