More Present in Absence

I am always tripping over the ones who are gone,
banging my shin on an absence, catching my toe
on a place where someone used to be.
I hear them say exactly what they really think
as few ever did. Real thoughts in their real voices.
And the more who are gone, the more they are there.
The air is thick with angels and ghosts, palpable not visible.
And with love; I long for them even as I argue with them.

Let the name of my collected love and longing be God,
and then let this longing lead my feet and work in my hands
and open my eyes, and tune my ears.
Let this longing set the course of my years;
and let Her be the appointment book of my days.
Let the name of this longing be my memoir
looking back over my shoulder on the path I once walked.

And let this longing that you know too,
nameless as it is, let it be known as Nameless,
a nameless recognition between us that catches
like a flame catches to light a longing we share.
Let the fire of this longing between us be the hearth
of our house and the bonfire beneath our intentions.

You, and you, and you, too, invoke the longing
at your risings and your settings down.
Let this longing be our story when history books are gone.

© Anne Benvenuti 2011
first lines excerpted in We’moon 2013


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