A Different Version of the Same Poem

I saw you in the morning light the day before
creation. You were singing in the clouds of dust,
yourself the only melody that self-composed.
I lived a thousand lives and never learned
your hapax legomena, never memorized
the patterns of your falling leaves, the alphabet
you wrote one day in rain. I saw but didn’t hear,
too loud the laughter, wind, and blended blood.
The leaves are spooling on the waters of your face.
It’s in me too. My shadow turned away from you.
The reeds are growing in my chest and in my eyes.
The photons fell in different ways for you. The light
collided head on into the trees. I saw but didn’t hear,
didn’t hear. There should have been some witness
to the violence. But there was only silence.
I tried to touch the autumn of your face:
The moisture dripped beyond where space extends.
I crossed the bridge of stolen time with you
and never learned the legend of your youth,
or found the silent bloom that could disclose
what gold-vermilion shades your eyelids enclose,
the pre-eternal garden speaking sleep,
or how the oak trees grew within your veins,
because I missed the words, and let my breath
pass above your hair, like something being said.

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