Songs of Fictive Moments: As you left

I did not listen to your leaving
as you left. I did not hear 

the floorboards creaking, the scrape 
of your fingernails on the wall

down the hall, the click-click
of them on the doorknob, the 

catch-cracking of the latch opening 
or the scream of the hinge of the door. 

No, I did not hear them at all.
I stayed where I was in my chair

with my thoughts and my drink
and my stare but I did hear you stop.

I heard your breath catch in your throat.
I heard the hesitation in your step,

your two desires pulling you apart, 
pulling you to pieces right there 

on the threshold, right there in the hall.
I heard the split in you. All these things 

I heard as you stood there, the house 
ticking around you, the floor 

stretching away down the hall.
I heard your cheek almost touch 

your shoulder, your chin almost 
touch your collar bone and then 

I heard your head whip back to 
front, the snap of the earth back 

into place. The slam of the door
I did not hear, and again

the silence as I sat. I 
was firm in the fabric  

of the seat of the chair.
I was sewn there.

My skin tore 
as I tried to rise.

So I didn’t.
So I let you.

(The third piece in a series of unrelated pieces that are somehow, in my mind, related)

prising, slogging, digging

I try to write at night but mostly 
fall asleep before I can begin,
before I can achieve the proper
state of reverie, the space that
I crave to create, that I cannot 
seem to make the time or the 
energy for. But yes, the words 
whisper to me when I cannot 
catch them and slip away before
I can put them in their place,
before I can place them where
they will live and grow into more.

I put the parts of them in little boxes,
little bits of hair, a leaf dropped,
a bone perhaps, found in the soil,
slip them into a little book that I 
keep in my pocket to pull out
later, to try to form into something--
something more, something alive,
something that can find the light
to live when I can find the silence
that it needs to let it grow. My days
are far too noisy, my nights too short.

The soul trudges on, 
slogs through the mud of life with 
little time to dig.  

I offer these words to myself as 
a balm, a hand on the shoulder, 
a consolation in the true sense 
perhaps but without a prize to offer 
as I cannot prise the poems from their 
hidden places as often as I would like, 
as I feel I should, as I feel I need. 

The soul trudges on, 
slogs through the mud of life with 
little time to dig.