I am struck by how we gravitate
Towards those who can feed us
What we need at a given moment
How can I write a poem about my good friend dying
How do I say all that is rising and flowing through my body
Like the flooded river that took you away
How do I talk about the laughter, your laugh and smile that won’t
escape my head
Or the miraculous explosion of life that we’re all filled with
because of you Sarah
How do I describe all the silly little moments that aren’t so
We were going to make a sandwich cart because we couldn’t find
any decent sandwiches
Or jobs in Portland and thought this was a good niche.
You wanted to fill a little red wagon with brown bagged lunches and
wheel it around downtown Portland at noon.
Or that during a fight with Joseph you ran into the backyard and buried
his shirt and then ran back out to dig it up because you felt bad.
You could find the laughter in absolutely anything
How tiny and fragile your body really was, though it never seemed
that way at all
How do I write about the sudden attack of love I felt when I heard
Or how I didn’t believe it. Thought someone had made a mistake
I remember you saying to me,
“I never deny myself anything, really. I just don’t want
Remember you driving the car and turning to me with a laugh and saying,
“I’m the man in this relationship,” because you
We talked about bleeding a lot, not being ashamed of it, but open
For months we bled on the same cycle. Our bodies turning and flushing
red waves of cells together.
We talked about marriage, why people felt it was necessary. We decided
the important thing was the commitment, the rituals.
The last time
I saw you
You were so capable.
We ate green tea ice cream on the ramshackle porch.
You always looked so beautiful in your skin,
Fresh and alive, like something that shot up from the ground green
Wherever you went you took the ground you stood on with you.
You told me I said things that were helpful to you
As I scooped out the last spoonful of green ice cream
And hugged you on the steps between laughter and tears
In the sunny afternoon.
How do I describe the light that emanated from you, Sarah?
Steph, Patricia and I went to Sauvie’s Island to pick flowers
for you as the sun set.
Dahlias, bachelor buttons, black-eyed susans, chocolate sunflowers,
delphiniums, amaranth, daisies.
As we were leaving, I walked back to the field.
I saw the moon low, brave and lucid
A goddess smiling over the mountains, spruce, dogwood and me
I called Patricia and Stepth out into the field.
And we all knew.
We all knew
As I drove back to your house
The moon beside us,
Steph said, “The moon is Sarah.”