Whatever you feel:
long twinges of fear
upon rising; terror
of a full mailbox;
happiness before sleep
if only fleeting;
whatever you feel,
I hold myself open
for you in that feeling.
Bring me pain or pleasure
and I will carry it with you.
Bring me ecstasy or final
despair upon grief’s arrival,
or your own fear of death
collapsing into acceptance,
I will shiver and then embrace
it, and you with it;
for I know the poverty
of loneliness and how it ravages
one’s capacity to be present;
how it drives you from past to future
with no time to stop for now. I know
where you are when you stop
and cower, for I have been there myself;
I know the neighborhood of contentment
even if your address is adjacent to mine,
or a street away or more.
Whatever the walk demands of us,
we will walk it. Whatever the talk
gives us to speak, we will say it.
Whatever you end up being,
I will stand there and see you as you are;
and whether you walk on without me
or I without you, that there was a shared path
once, I will never deny. I will never
allow myself the luxury of edited past
and altered future without acknowledging
that you and I once shared the present
and all it held, we carried it together,
and it led us to today.