For the first time this year, I felt real fear sitting down here to do this tonight. I want more than anything to poem for my beautiful, heartsung friend and boss, Jamie, who is surviving this loss even though it makes every day feel nightmarish. But, I was afraid because of the supernatural spookiness of the timing of Thursday’s poem. It’s not like I think they died because of a poem. It’s not that. It’s just that I’m afraid that the universe has more horrific lessons to teach me, and I’d rather not learn them just now.
DO YOU HEAR ME UNIVERSE? I GET IT. IT’S THE LOVE, STUPID. ISN’T THAT THE LESSON???
So tonight I poem for Jamie. She is stronger than she knows, and just seeing her today as she bore up under the tide of this grief provided me and HP both great comfort. Tonight I poem for Jamie.
We Were Close Enough Already
It took the strength of giants to walk into that office today. I don’t know where you found it. Hidden under some rock in your heart, that you didn’t know existed, maybe. The tiny apple, the finger puppet (rodential, like a squirrel maybe), the tiny horses, the dried cactus, the notes from him to her, evidence of a big and uncommon love, those were the tangible trinkets that could not be faced without them, but I couldn’t have done it without you. I know you would get up on a draft horse and go the Bob Marshall with me, I know you will, when the time comes to scatter them. I know you know all the stories. We ache for them. We were close enough already, having shared gripes and hormones and all the worries, we were close enough already, but yes, this shoves us closer, closer to us and closer to them both, somehow. Sometimes glass doesn’t feel strong, not at all, but it is. Sometimes everything shatters. Let’s bronze the desk and get glitter tattoos. Let’s go to Sturgis in a car. Let me get snot on your sweater when I cry in your arms, and don’t you be worried about the tears you get on me. Let’s go do all the scary things together, let’s scream in fear and mirth, let’s do it without hesitation, all but the fucking motorcycles, let’s do it all, together. You are my heartsung friend, and you have the strength of iron, and of steel, and being strong doesn’t mean you are unfeeling. Just means you are surviving it, this boulder of sorrow, just surviving it until we can get to glitter party. And I could take or leave Sturgis, but I’ll go if you want.
So, I totally need to write Jamie another, more coherent poem this year. But, a lot of it is true life stuff. I love you, Jamie. This was a poem about you, but turned into a lot of other things. I will totally go to Sturgis with you next year. In a huge car. Like, a box of steel. I love you so much.