FORGOTTEN PORTRAITS – Janine Solursh

Suddenly nobody knows where you are.
You’re just a memory,
an echo,
an idea thin as smoke.
Your last text, call, letter, Facebook post—
only footprints in the surf.
Your edges blur and you become
a friend’s story,
a lover’s history.

Initially, you beat against the panes in set-aside frames
begging to be taken out
and rolled into motion once more.
But after a second winter,
then a third, and fourth,
there comes something serene and warm
behind the haze that smokes the broken hourglass.
Something new
and just for you.
This world belongs to you and yours
and when you glance back and recall your life’s movement
with a sigh of days gone by,
you are irrevocably comforted
having become that final exhale
that hangs in the air after the passing.
You pose
and hold it.

We are all the dead.
I am not apart from you for long,
except for breath,
except for everything.