I know your voice by heart, I let it
Speak to me every day, the way it called
Me, but my arms could not reach out to you
To let you go, to inhale you, one more time,
Absorb your memory, and close my eyes
Not to see you go.
Every time I lie down, your face
Washes up on my shores and I
Send whispers outside of my room.
The echoes of our past whiplash my back.
I crawl back in my childlike body and beg
You to hold me once more.
My name on your dying lips,
The words that pronounced you dead
As I sunk down on my knees
To pick up the pieces of me, and us,
To never lose them, to let them keep their
Pulse, unlocked, turbulent, between us.
I remember your language.
The valleys and mountain tops of your
Vocality. How I strain my own voice
To resemble yours, to hold you there, feel
You there, with me. I sing your songs
And acknowledge your steps, I remember
That you hover now, instead of holding
My hand, flesh to flesh, my skin on yours,
Immortal love letters.
“Portrait of Mme Boère” by Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789)