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When all the migrant flocks return
flapping and cawing,
and the remnants of snow
melt to feed the thirsty earth;
when the rivers trickling in a gentle song,
join in the symphony of spring awakening,
and the puddles of perfume
infuse the air with dewy scent;
when green buds bestrew anew
the barren branches,
how the bitter winter cold
is so quickly forgotten
and forgiven.
How oft has the piping poet iterated
the many nuances of feeling,
the many ways to love, or hate?
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
But where in these enumerations
have we distinguished the longing
that boils up within us
at an absence, the missing,
whether momentary or eternal?
For there are many ways to miss someone.

There are, of course, the dreary ways
to miss someone, the ways
of grief, the yearning never to be fulfilled
for the departed and never to be seen again.
The moving on because you must
and still like ringing bells
the memories perpetually toll -
at first so loud as to obscure any sound
or thought, yet eventually
fading to a distant chime, ever still present,
lingering tintinnabulation;
if you stop and listen, you can make it out,
but day-to-day you’d hardly notice.

But there are many ways to miss someone,
like subtle shades of purple:
while some are dark, oozing, sickly,
violent, like bruises,
blood pooling just beneath the surface
threatening to burst;
or some are near-grey, cold, desaturated,
a sensationless day,
a gloomy cloud in our sky;
others would induce with their very sight
the soft scents of violets and lilac,
the songs of spring birds chirping;
and others still are rich and royal,
thick like honey, endowed,
velvet sheen, lustrous silk.

Yes, there are many ways to miss someone.

Like craving the crunch of an apple,
or the tingling acidity of citrus.
Like the thirst before the first gulp,
lemon water warmed beneath the sweltering sun.
Or like how dusk to dawn deprives us of that very sun,
and yet so soon will it return,
crying out a yellow hello into the night blue sky.

There are many ways to miss someone.

Like the budding excitement,
the cocooned caterpillar,
the anticipation of soon-coming,
daydreaming, enriching, sweet, joyful,
delayed gratification.

There are many ways to miss someone.

And when you finally bite into the fruit of your longing
the juices seep into all the cracks and crevices
of all the moments past of absence,
fill you, elate you, concentrated,
and you ask yourself
was an orange always so sweet
or the lemon so sour as this?
We swallowed our tongues,
fleshy caskets for our feelings
buried in the cemetery
of our guts

Do you feel
that
turning in your stomach?

What we left unspoken
buried
is rolling in its grave.

My love,
when it comes back to life as
vengeful
rotting corpses without spirit
it will eat us alive
from the inside out.
How do two butterflies find each other
between the earth and the great sky
when there is so much space
and so much wild brush and wind
and so few of them, tiptoeing
from flower petal to petal?

I hear they dance
when they meet
their colours blending in pirouettes
and a hundred-stepped tango.
What a dazzling courtship it must be,
what a blessing to witness.

But I still cannot fathom how
in this enormity
do butterflies find each other.
all I had to say
was
it’s been a while
eh?
and twist
uncomfortably

because I'd heard your yowl
the night before
(and cried at the sound)
something that wasn’t meant
for me
but which you let loose
for all the world to hear

in hopes
it would be heard
by one
Today you were waiting for Serendipity
out on the corner of some street
which shall remain nameless hereon
because it doesn’t matter.
that’s not the point.

the point is, you waited there
all day.

the point is
at dusk you called me
to ask
if I’d roll by
to make it happen.

but

I am not Serendipity
that woman you so longed for,
with breezy golden hair
and charmed green eyes and
her arms dangling gracefully
with no thought given
and no ***** wasted.

I am not Serendipity
with her good fortune
and sunny days.

I am not Serendipity.

I am a planned vacation
with a hiking backpack
full of good intentions
and good will
and good humour

and when it rains
(and it will rain)
let’s go out and dance
and call this our fortune.
I have left the Earth,
no longer entranced by the contours
of his maps.

He thought he alone needed to be Atlas

so that when he trembled
the world shook,
and when he trembled
oceans swallowed coastal villages,
and when he trembled
mountains buried lone wanderers,
and how he trembled
that the very core of the earth
did erupt in molten rage.

“Baby,” I said, “you need to downsize."
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