by Paula Ray
Your faded presence in sepia dream returns,
firelight whispers and vanilla scented ash.
We were a beautiful knot: sinew and hemp,
burlap and magnolia petal, concrete and vapor.
Gray kisses hovered overhead, misty visions,
a strong invisible grip inside a prayer,
hands folded into origami chapels
where our heart-shaped bells rang.
Time swayed, quiet, slow-dancing in starlight.
My heart, skipping across the water,
only to sink before reaching your shore.
And somehow, a magnolia moon has found you.
You, with your shovel, beaded brow, and purpose,
digging up roots to set me free.