I have forgot my wings
in memory of Jake Adam York
Driving from Gambier, Ohio to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
I imagined your mind as rolling clouds over hilltops.
Like Wyeth’s Giant, your thoughts spilled over at the brim,
grabbing a picnic, a stick of dynamite, a game show because this
was all poetry to you.
I’m swallowing words with
awkward points and rounded
edges cutting my tongue—
Should I call it mourning?
I don’t know how to write this.
Maybe poetry was like a picnic
but this only tastes like iron
and my teeth are stained red.
You were the hand parting row
after row in those effulgent fields
as I stumbled, barreling behind
like a child, slapping corn leaves
away from my face, searching for sun.
You were the wind lifting me up,
over the earth, over the tall stalks,
into fresh air, immersing me
in my blue sky.
I’m not sure if it’s morning
when your spirit is spread
thin over tumbled
hills. I wish I could capture it
like fireflies in a mason jar,
bringing brilliance home
to place on my nightstand,
to help me remember
the song of fluttering wings.