The next year

The next year
is so far

though nothing
compared to the time

for which
the warm ripples
of your absence
have eroded
my smile

my lips
are now a child’s
forgotten play:

a thin horizontal
line he drew
with a crumbling
twig

and did not skip
over
to collect
the shells
you left behind

now that you hope
to visit
next year,

I need
to do
something
of my blackened
fingers:

stop holding
the simmering
stars
between them

on sleepless nights
sitting
on the shore

I need to prepare
myself
to hold
the burning moon.

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