I remember sitting up with you,
trying to show you how the glow
on the screen could be you,
how you could stop saying her name
over and over again
if you wanted to,
how I would stay on the
other end and still be there
on the other side of the night.
How there were at least words
we could say, books to read,
at least soon it would be day
and there would be things to do
and it’s easy to move on when
you really need to move.
I remember you sitting up with me,
trying to show me that I
don’t need to be guilty,
that I can just be, and I can
like who I like
and it doesn’t have to be
the likes of you.
I remember sending you a picture
of a yellow bird on a telephone wire,
you sending me a song,
me sending you a joke,
you sending me a poem,
you sending me a wedding song,
your wedding song
from your wedding with her,
your signature on the divorce papers.
The way you looked right to me then
did not make me feel not guilty.
It is not my fault that I am
this far away, it is not
my fault that I befriended a bird of prey,
that your hawk eyes saw right back
to how little I knew of me, to how
much I hated myself yesterday,
it is not my fault that I am
it is not my fault.
I remember your children being born,
your wedding song and the wordless
music at the end of it.
I remember never thinking you were wrong.
I remembering sitting on my jacket
outside the door of the observatory.
My friends were up two stories
watching other worlds move,
and I remember listening to you, pulling back,
looking at the phone and thinking,
‘I am too.’
You told me that today I sounded happy,
I sounded me, less guilty, more free.
And you spun away slowly, thinking
that kind of friend is not worth having.
So you sent me to orbit some other planet
with some other sun
and I have to tell you it won’t be hard.
I can find my way to light from dark.
I will take a girl to the observatory some day.
I’ll walk her there, pull her up the spiral
staircase by the hand,
and over her shoulder I will point
to constellations you have never dreamed of
and I will tell her,
‘these are all the worlds we could go to.’
And we will start to move.
And we will take our friends with us,
up the spiral stairs,
and I will not stay at the door with you.
I will wrap my jacket around myself
and I will take what I know about the moon,
a glow in my hands,
and I will hold it out to them.
And if I move all over the universe
I will always come back to them.
Because that’s what friends do.