There are days when I can’t shake it, that suspicion
that all the world wants is to take things away.
Days when only poetry keeps me in balance.
Days when even the full, yellow sunshine of our star isn’t enough,
when the light disappears and I’m pulled too far into the black hole of all I’ll never have.
I saw a picture today,
new but with a face from wayback, echoing
everything that was ever lost
everything that someone grabbed away from me to keep for their own
a tangled mess of used-to-be-trues.
That face, smiling there
casting a blue light on me
as I flushed red at the memory
as though that ghost still had weight
all these years later.
Is it the face of the world?
Does it represent some larger meaning,
the embodiment of a karmic debt long owed?
It wasn’t simply a loss: keys down a storm drain, misplaced sunglasses.
It was a shameless snatching back: that tired old candy-from-a-baby trick.
That face – it had been bigger, back then.
I thought I was small, so I was.
I thought I knew the truth,
but looking at it now I’m not sure which is the lie.
I’m bigger now, or at least I think I am.
Big enough to hold it all and
big enough to let it all go: a yellow plastic truck in a sandbox, a blue ribbon.
A fading black eye of love
still tender even as it fades.