Becoming a PA
After a happy swirl of ceremony
A thin, winter season
Nights with your head down
Pen-and-ink running together, a rushing river
A sharper wind than you expected
That cuts through the jacket you thought warm enough.
One Friday, studying skin cancers
My phone rang and I learned
My friend had shot himself in his backyard.
I slid speechless down the wall.
In the spring you lift your head
See the simple things of your life
For the first time.
The daffodils defying frost,
The coffee percolating, singing praises.
Your lungs expand.
On a walk, I catalogued the flowers.
One I found was ombre, its purple giving way to pink
Certain genes expressed, not expressed
A partial transformation.
Inside a voice grows
Go this way
Go that way
You feel the bleeding work of your hands
The sun beats down on pavement,
The sweat rolls down your spine,
The stars whirl by a seventh-floor window.
A sanctuary of in-between breaths.
The moon escorts me, holds my hand
The half-mile to my car, lonely in the lot
And I smile.
A happy swirl of ceremony.
Another winter waiting.