as a child, I remember the hum of the sea
as you sang for me from
the pages of the old dictionary,
beaten blue cover on the
definitions of your long-dead youth;
stories swimming with spirits.
I listened as you slipped sand
through the creases of your soul.

I remember how you made
corpses waltz in grey satin dresses
across my sky. you told me to
listen to the old man playing
fiddle from the foam of the sea
and the trumpet calls ripped
from the gulls’ frosted throats.

you defined love as a ghost
who holds your hand and
wanders the beaches, blowing sand
out of seashells and holding them, too.
you told me love’s face floats in the corners
of your soul, translucent and kind.
as I lay with my head in your silken lap,
you told me you loved me.

I still believe you.
I remember the day we wandered
the graveyard and blew out the flames of
dandelions, because you told me a wish is planted
in every person you help find their wings.
that day, I knew what you meant
when you told me to keep making
the dead smile and sing.

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