Poem: When I woke up last December

Everyone was hours gone
Curved down the mountainside
The winter fog closing the oak trees in
Their voices still ringing in my ears
Their hands not yet forgotten
But because our books have closed
My bags and boxes sit on rough granite
Where I last dragged them

Where my bare feet tread
Cracked because the earth kissed them so often
As the threads have been so fondly torn
To fray this old green couch
Smelling of dirt and translated books and worn shirts
Here I sat with Aristotle
Here I sat with Augustine
Here I sat with you

And all these bones are made of wood
And every stone will tell our stories
Leaving a fullness to this emptiness
Now that the floorboards cease to creak
Unprepared, these realizations will grow in a year
To full-fledged and heavy νόστος
To bend me to sink down with Odysseus
To drench Calypso’s shore with tears

As I remember and try not to forget
The breath of the wind on my neck
Those sighing fingers through my hair
Rushing infinity loops with dancing pine dryads at night
But for now my eyes can barely bear to blink
No one here to make the floorboards smile and creak
No one to hear me drip this stillness sound with Fender guitar

My hair was tied with a buffalo tooth and beads and feathers
His blue and black flannel wrapping my arms
And when I woke up in that buffalo plaid
To see my father’s face in the doorway
Everyone was hours gone
And I suddenly had no idea where was home

Since then I’ve lost the buffalo flannel and him as well
And the tooth rests white in a drawer
But my hair is still tied with beads and feathers
And some nights I look up to the stars
Some voices I hear, while some are written in distance
Some, silent earshot
And some hands are now foreign,
Some reach out and hold my own
But some days I have no idea where is home

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