The image of a jungle is coming to mind when I think about my parents dying.

Like I can’t sift through all the wild green leaves
and the noises around me make me feel crowded and alone

I am lost and I can’t find my way out of this place
and even if I could, I wouldn’t know where I was going
so how would I know when I wasn’t lost anymore?
What familiar place could I begin to call home?
What is familiar anyway?
How does love feel when it means something?

Is there a place called somewhere
that somehow
becomes something
more than an upchuck of color
and voices calling you
by a name you can’t remember is yours or not?

Do we ever wake up from this
not-quite-nightmare but far-from-dream?
What’s on the other side of life?
Is that home? Because that’s where you went
and you’re the most familiar place
and the only thing I think of
that starts in my heart and ends with an “ome”.
Is it just me saying “Ohm”?
Is it just me writing?

Is it just me?

EJZ 1.11.2016

Death is easy – before and after is difficult.

When
you’re
counting
every
breath,
every
second
still
viable,
and
in
one
moment
it

ends

and you wish
you were still counting.

Even gasping breaths,
painful and strained,
are still signs of maybes –
of hope you know is running out;

But as long as you have one thread of an inhale to hold onto,
you don’t have to grip the air in your lungs
quite so tightly.

It’s when all you hear is silence
that you stop asking if he’s breathing
and worry whether your own life can be sustained
when this one was just taken up
and you wonder whether your heart can hold out

and when you realize it’s still beating,
you wonder – how?
How,
when the force of love was removed from this Earth?
and eventually you think

maybe it wasn’t –
and one day you hear that love is the only force that can defy time and space
and move through all dimensions
and then you realize

the air wasn’t given up
but given over
and you’re still breathing
and just for today,
that is enough
to keep living.

I love you.

EJZ 01.14.2016

Remembering JLZ
04.13.1943 – 01.14.2010

image

Interstellar

“If what you lost
cannot be found,
you never really had it in the first place”.

We can spend our whole lives trying to find what we’ve lost.
What we find
is it never really left –
we just looked in the wrong places
for signs that were speaking all along.

Five years –
it took
five years
for me to see I didn’t have to search anymore
and just because I couldn’t see
doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

You were there.
You were
looking at me through windows
you had told me would exist,
existed
but I didn’t know where to look.

The truth is you built them.
The truth is I built them.
The truth is we built them
in the webs of conversations long passed,
in the pages of books read over again,
in the ticking hands of a watch, unbroken,
in movie screens,
in poetry

“I found a map buried in time
written by an invisible hand.”

That hand was yours
and I knew it then
and you’ve been writing words,
writing maps for me
all along.

You were there
You were there
You were there
in the text on the page,
in the ink in the pen,
in the tears isn my eyes,
in the life of my thoughts,
in the wind.

I was searching,
I just didn’t know where to look.

I had it –
I had you
with me all along.

And I don’t know who to thank.
I don’t know how my conception of God is responsible for this,
but it’s the thread that has kept us tied
through the years I was hiding
and searching
and lost.

So thank you –
Thank you for not leaving.
Thank you for finding me.
Thank you
for never truly being lost.

EJZ 05.31.2015

image

Dedicated to JLZ
04.13.1943 – 01.14.2010

On Your Birthday

I dreamt I was in a field of four leaf clovers
Emerald green
Soft enough to let them hold me
Rocking me in the sunlight
The freshest air my lungs had ever known
The scent of the newness of spring
and rebirth
Laughter
and sunshine
and no rain.

And then I remembered what you told me,
that your thirteenth birthday
was on Friday the 13th
and that made you the luckiest man alive
because luck
and life
are what you make them.

Dedicated to JLZ
04.13.1943 – 01.14.2010
Happy birthday in heaven.

EJZ 4.13.2015

image