[Poem] The Ache

 The Ache

By Kit Hodge

It's in the beauty of the sky that I notice your thinness

It's in the crash of two notes that I remember your back

I love you like a fall off a cliff

I love you even as you let me slip

The ripe trees remind me of smiles you never had

The choir of children sing the open arms you couldn't use

I love you like a broken arm

I love you even as you let me drift

Your love, an ache of poison gas: 

Helium, chlorine embracing in a vacuum

No light, no reaction, baby

The lullaby that stops my heart

Your love, the end of a losing race away from the winner

I, the blue-black statue of victory 

—a girl, raising your fear—

Mama, we were already, always, entwined apart

Still, I love you like a motherless crow

I love you even as you let me go

And it's in the darkness that I cry for us both

And it's in the ache of light that my heart still hovers, suspended midair, and can't let go