Upon Some Other Shore

by Renwick Berchild

Next to me is a pillow with a hole I can not fill.
The chill of Memory empties her cup.

It never comes. The fruit rots before the ripening.
The darkness arrives before the dawn and light.

You were never here. You never slept beside me.
As a shade, you couldn’t have died.

And you don’t die. Every morn you rise with me.
I hear your laugh echo, your leg, shift under mine.

I clutch my fists and curse bitter endings.
I rake my arms across my desk and scatter objects.

I break hearts and bones. I’m bedeviled by lies.
When will I stop clinging, to your ghost?

Every hour, I toe the line.
Every hour, you respond in kind:

All this brooding is unbecoming of you.
I am sorry, for the wreckage, but you will be alright.

I burn these candles down to their nubs.
I look at your white shoes by the doorway.

All I do is wait and wait, for the last drop to be squeezed out.
For the last scent of you, to at last leave the house.

Leave and find roots upon some other shore.

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