Bright and Warm

 

You asked me to cover

your wounds and damages,

to sweeten the bitterness,

and harvest the salt

of your tears.

You always saw in me

things that I never could

in myself.

 

“Bright and warm.”

You said

that I had an aura.

I didn’t tell you

that I

could see yours.

Maybe it was the cowardice in me,

maybe it was conscience.

 

I made up my mind

in the height

of summer

to tell you,

but you were heading off

to school

so soon,

I couldn’t stand

to cut our time short

by telling you such things.

 

You left

in September

and I never saw you

until Christmas.

You had changed.

Smiling eyes

disguised

dark circles,

and I could tell

you forced a laugh,

and didn’t eat much,

but you drank more

than you used to.

 

Phone calls

and emails stopped.

Sparse texts by February

became none by April.

You never came home

that summer

and even though

I blamed myself,

I understood.

 

Your mother called me

on a weekend

to tell me

what hospital you were in.

I took the time

from work

to see you.

I remember

almost not going in,

but I did

and you saw me.

Immediately

you said,

“Bright and warm”,

even though I felt

the opposite.

 

I told you what I saw

last year

in the summer,

and you held on to me

and cried

until you were tired.

You slept

in my arms for a while,

and I just sat there

listening to you breathe

and watching

your aura change.

 

 

HG – 2021

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