Illustration by Gabrielle Conlon

I thought I knew life,

grasped its seasons,

its gentle hum.

and

I thought I knew death,

grasped its reasons,

its quiet finality.

 

But you, my dear,

you are life and you are death,

coexisting with such grace

you take my breath away.

Gladly,

I give it to you.

 

With a laugh you bend every rule,

turn my world upside down.

You’ve rewritten the script,

inscribed meaning where there was none,

shined light where there was no sun.

 

At night I dream of you.

Your mouth moves in time with the shadows,

your hair encircles you,

your eyes never leave mine.

 

By day I dream of you.

You dart in and out of my consciousness,

a mystery all your own.

I know you are no figment

for you leave a trail of sunshine in your wake.

You keep my bones warm long after you are gone.

 

Out beneath the stars,

our fingers intertwined,

you tell me of your mother–

fragments of memories

cut short.

 

I hope she sees us,

tiny and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things,

but shining so bright

we could be our own constellation:

The lovers,

The soulmates,

The destined pair.

 

I thought I knew life

before you

I thought I knew death.

 

But darling,

holding you,

knowing you,

loving you,

what I wouldn’t give

to live forever.

 

I never begrudged death its victims,

always respected its authority.

But for you, darling,

I’d demand an explanation,

a justification.

How could there be one?

 

Only for you would I embrace the void;

not in death,

but in living on without you.