Last summer you were an unreachable place. A cloud my hand fell through each time I grasped. I never denied you existed, but you were always, always too far to know.
Last fall the windows cracked. All the water pressed against them came rushing in through the fissures until I drowned. Until I was alone on the bathroom floor at night, my body caked in shards of glass. Except I wasn’t alone, he was there.
Last winter I was on life support. My lungs needed someone to inflate their thin walls. He held the big valve mask to my mouth and pumped. He pumped. He breathed for my lifeless body. I was drowned and breathing.
Last spring we went to a vineyard. His arms were sore and my lungs were new. I told him I was falling in love on a small bridge over a trickling stream. His arms were sore and my lungs were new and we held each other, the way soldiers do in back bedrooms of parties, where no one else will ever understand the war, the way we do.
It is summer again. I can hear the water coming from a short distance. I can hear the crocus rustling and about to bloom. The river will be full beneath the bridge tonight, I’ll pour 2 glasses of red wine. I’ll invite you to my table, Joy. For I know death and I know hiding, friends only to the naive and no one can title me that anymore.
The man with sore hands from caring hard and the woman with eyes deeper than before and strong lungs are going to raise a glass with you, newest friend. We’ve learned you’re not for the faint of heart, but for the warriors just back from the bloodied field. Who know when to say thank you and to daily linger in the good.