for Dennis Flinn
Over breakfast, Ani reminds me it would be your birthday again today. I have been caught up in the smell of grass coming in from the window. The sharpness and warmth make me feel all this time before this moment I've been a stone hurled in the air, now nearing the horizon where from hereon it won't be seen.
shift in the breeze
moving the steam off my cup
At lunch, I try to recall things I haven't yet told Ani about you. Four years, and I haven't run out of words. What I do tell her about is people, those you would befriend and help out, scowl at and mistake for someone else, stories about cities you would've moved to if the time was right, the toys and books you collected, piled around your house, people waiting to hear from you, their pages and faces in place for later.
on the stones
of your uneven path
There is a side to the moon we never see. People are like that, I tell Ani, pointing to myself. Her birthday was last week. I spent most of the day trying to make her laugh by saying things like: Your laughter is popcorn to my soul. The kind of things you say and hope the whole person hears them. What I wouldn't give to be able to reach and cup the side of the moon and turn it. When I imagine how it would go, I see a silver reflection of the hand I write with pull away, before it all flickers out.
pen marks on this side of the page,
on the other side