Words, that I string together into a rope ladder,
and climb down into the well overflowing with darkness,
where I sleep with no burdens; and upon awakening
scramble in the dry earth for more words,
for the ladder that has disappeared.
Spaces, that I accumulate around myself to make a wall,
like a speck of dust in the center of the bubble
of a protective sheet of bubblewrap; but whether
I am protecting myself or something else
that needs protecting, I will never understand.
Time, cool and gentle, that we held in our hands,
spilled over when you started moving abruptly;
now fallen all over the path in front of me,
certain moments glimmering in the midday sun,
making the path slippery for me to walk on.
The crumbled remains of sandcastles that collapsed
under the tide; hope, “the thing with feathers”*,
now floating through the expanse of spaces
and spilled over time, still searching for a rope ladder
to come back up from the bottom of the well.
(*Emily Dickinson wrote, ” ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers – “)