a poem for Herzog and any human who has ever been sad

Posted on May 3, 2015

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August 2007

Your song ended

when the air smelled of wild grapes and the dusty sweetness of clover.

And crickets serenaded the evenings, and cicadas’ hum filled day— and night

Everywhere was the scent and vibration of high summer —

then I learned that death is not an event

not a presence but a

cessation.

A doorbell rings — in my mind I summon one syllable of your rough voice in response

but only stillness presses my ears, like gauze

I lean toward that silence

there is a buzzing, a hollow hum, nothing.

Coming home when light of day has dimmed, I strain to see your face through glint of glass

but you are not there

I walk around corners in the empty house to you

not there

Missing you

we picked wild berries on that day in July

We strained to frogs grunting

savoring any sound of life

but there was nowhere to seek you.

The last moment I pushed into the softness of your cheek

you exhaled and laid down your head

and I left the room.

I cried out in my mind to go back

through that door

to press my head against yours.

I never did.

Herzog portrait taken 1-29-06 taken by Victoria

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