“That’s where they got the replacement parts,”
you say as you point at your shin.
I look and sure enough there is a slice
on the inside of your leg, neat butterflies,
from your ankle halfway to your knee.
Then you sheepishly show me your chest.
My private thought is that I’ve sewn several
holiday birds together just like that and feel reckless,
but wonder about making you laugh.
I look into your face and take that lord’s name in vain.
My fate is not my own tonight as I nervously
check the mirror for flaws and cracks.
Damn you, I didn’t get anything done today
that I’d wanted to do, that I’d looked forward to doing.
I hadn’t seen you since that bachelor party last September,
where we both had too much fun and ended the
evening speaking Japanese to a delighted audience.
Today, we are sober, very sober indeed.
We have never come as close to
taking different flight paths on this migration.
I have always just assumed that you were
on the same plane and that I could find your
seat and visit for a time whenever the whim arose,
and I am stunned that you almost went on without me.
I look into your face again and instead
of cursing the fear in your eyes,
I bless the life that still shines there and will go hunting
next October and fish the Deschutes next
April and just might stalk the wily bivalve in a month or two.
Godspeed, my friend, this journey has another leg.