it was never you i fled from, you with a heart like a lighthouse and hands that pulled me up from the dirt, never minding when i left mud and wretch on your clothes; and it’s always you i carry through each hour, a glimpse of effervescent eyes and your ephemeral flickered grin, your shoes on my feet and your words braided into my hair. how many times now have i held my head between my hands and damned the chasm swallowing you, effacing me more every day? when was the last utterance of your tender sobriquet, a surprised shout calling from the sky? my stars still laugh in your voice, incandescent amidst the yawning swath of black. how long have you known my dear, that I’m not coming back? that twin bedsheets with blue and yellow stars would stay folded in the cupboard, your glossy faces taped to walls you’ll never reach? transcend the corporeal swell of water and time, stay close to me and trace my footsteps on the moth-wing map. tell me once again that perilous distance and faces that have begun to set cannot dim the luminescence of your balefire eyes keeping watch over the ocean.