“There are years we lose to people
we didn’t realize we never loved.”
—Philip Schaefer

There are years we lose people.
We didn’t realize how much we loved
the myth of them. The warmth
in the soft lining of the glove, absent.

There are years we lose love, and people,
and realize all we saw
was a mist. Damp
fog hovering. Dark valley.
A starless ocean for the briefest morning.

There are years we lose,
and love and people
are the only buoys keeping us afloat.

There are years we love.
A bright red tether holds us tight,
binds what must be bound. Spun
across time and terrain, complicated
webs. Successful flight.

People love.
Unwhittled diamondwood canes spill
out of the worn hands
of an old man who fell
asleep. Resting in the sage-smelling
clearing near the river. Banks
sagging with the weight of a wet spring.

There are moments when love loses
all track of time. Those years are
days, minutes,
Sharply-held breaths
ebb. Blood-bonds of grief. We lose
notion of passing, of myth,
of reality, loss.
Spun floss of spider’s silk floats,
thin gleam caught in the sun,
it has torn loose from what would bind it.