if the light streaked shadows on the wall if the rain fell like shards of glass glimmering shattering if to walk into that deep forest the grass the trees so thick no light can shine if there is no light no sunlight moonlight starlight if to walk & then to drag myself past the limit of my mortal chains if to gaze into that enveloping void if to feel the weight i cannot bear eased if to close my eyes the sea that morning when i could taste the honey of your smile if to be a bird if to catch that moment drifting in time if to hold on a second of eternity longer if to linger in the shadows dripping down the wall the night that gathers like dew in darkness
This past year and a half has been incredibly difficult, with the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating the stresses and anxieties we feel on a daily basis. When I read this NYT article on a 14-year-old boy’s suicide off New York City’s Vessel, all I felt was a profound shock. I couldn’t move, or think, really — I was frozen in that moment. Then came a heavy sadness, setting in slowly like sea fog subsuming the land in a thick, white silence.
I knew that I could not articulate my feelings except through poetry. I tried writing, but the words would not come. I tried, but whatever I wrote down I scratched out, full of despair and frustration.
But when I woke up the next morning, I realized the earth outside my house was the poem I was searching for: the sky, the sea, the forest, the birds, were mourning in the form of a poem. They were inviting me to read, to become a part of, that poem — as I now invite you.