i write because your skies are filled with smoke
& you need a piece of this blue sky

i write because autumn’s leaves danced 
with me to the empty mailbox

because fire licks your distant horizons 
while one, contained & of purpose, warms my crisp night 

i write because my hand, not yours, brushes 
hair from my forehead

i write because the poem i finished last week
longs to touch you 

because i know no other way 
to be with you this night

• • • •

Published in Waymark Voices of the Valley, #16 2021
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash