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Monarch

I have a friend who faithfully reads my words, but tries to pin

down the person, place, incident they hint at –

Like a collector filling a case with insects

fragile wings frozen mid-flight.

He does not understand that these writings are mere

attempts at reaching, holding in my hand

that feeling before it slips through my fingers

and returns to sand, water, stardust.

I want to tell him that you cannot grasp those memories in one hand.

You cannot capture them and pin them down,

to spread their wings and lay them behind glass for collectors to admire.

I write about the last grains in the hourglass,

the feeling of water that drips between cupped fingers.

I want to tell him you cannot capture the things

that rightfully belong to the air

to the spaces in-between breaths.

There are stories that never make it to the front

page, and songs with melodies that never leave our minds.

There are smiles after the picture is taken,

there will be smiles that we miss.

I will keep putting them down on paper

and He will keep growing his collection under

the desk lamp, glasses perched on the end

of his nose, reflecting golden light.

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