Our bodies will say goodbye
to themselves and look, they’re breaking
off into millions of baby torches.
This is how I imagine you will walk out,
a natural death that in time
will give back to the fatherly maples
we roughhoused as children.
Or maybe I will be the hand that opens
the last door closed between us.
Who knows. California holds on
to itself while the earth slow dances
alone, the mountains we gape at
on public access television
still wearing their little caps of snow
pom-pommed with goats. There are many
languages we won’t live long enough
to see glare from the signs of family-
owned truck stops. I have been gifted
many treasures in this life—lemonade, Katy Perry
albums, a rooster boogieing in the flowers—
that the churches say are worthless,
because someday they will be taken
from me. I have loved the churches,
so know this: everything the churches
can offer will die or was born strangled
in its own shriveled blessing.
There is nothing wrong with
a beautiful story that ends.
There is nothing wrong with a scepter
in a spotless glass case. But scientists
have revealed that humans need softer
relics to wrap in our flimsy arms,
so I am taking you with me to the city
of infinite wings. We have just enough time,
brief bodies still shivering enough
for these chapels of flame.
We take hold. The fields explode into loving
pairs. The bridge to the rest of everything
won’t last the night. The last time I leave
will necessarily be alone, but our plane
still necks the August clouds. There is no time
to waste—there is no empty square on the calendar
of our arms—there is no keeping matches
from our nation of Roman candles—
now I must bring forth for you my fullest
architecture of light.