Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
As if you were
the moon lives
in the lining
of your skin
– Pablo Neruda
Like a painting,
all I can do is stare
I can’t go too near
I can’t touch you
or else I’ll ruin everything.
I would watch a million sunrises and still never see one quite as beautiful as your eyes slowly opening in the morning.
Perhaps we’re not afraid of death
But of our own name plucked from the air
Of the silence that surrounds a thing
That’s just no longer there.
For we never really know
The lifespan of a single sound,
How many years after a body stops
A name will stick around.
Perhaps it stretches generations
Echoes one last time, then never,
Until the space it filled’s replaced
By its unknown loss forever.
Or maybe there’s another way
It lives after we fade,
It’s why we write our names’ on books we own
And all we’ve ever made.
It’s a sliver of remembrance
In a world prone to forget,
The taste of who we were
On lips of one we’ve never met.
The hope they’ll stumble on the stories
We have loved, worn down with age,
That there they’ll find what we had left:
Our name upon the cover page.
And for just that fleeting moment
It’s as though we’ve beaten death,
That in the whisper of those words
We have taken one more breath.
Only love and death will change all things
– Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam (1926)
If I can stop one heart from breaking,I shall not live in vain;If I can ease one life the aching,Or cool one pain,Or help one fainting robinUnto his nest again,I shall not live in vain.