I rise to meet the quiet of the lull you break inside me in the stalwart stillness of my soul: for where winds hath howled between what’s left standing; announced the roof that burned and fell, I have also felt the air lie still and Circumspect as sunset on the prairie I despise as empty, but God insists is Full. There is a collection of anecdotes here functioning as Walls: a ruin full enough to wonder not at what it shelters but might instead reveal in the subtle grace of scrub brush underfoot; its words arranged upon each blade in the dust left by the ready wash of dew. The questions posed are many– even the Morning rises as a challenge to our waking once again to rafters barren of their collar beam; a ridge piece the only thing between my head and the caving of it in at the crux of what's been left behind by the licking love of flame. The stars, too join conspiracies to damn us in their asking why the moon watches you sleep– can't you find a way to hide yourself away from the evisceration of what others lay safely beneath the flannel coverlet of names spoken aloud; consequences of your actions awarding worth to your intention; movements recalled with ease–? Your carelessness became this destination called your Home; a Sweetheart Abbey filled not with the martyrdom of wives bestowed their husband's hearts inside a jar, but Gilbert Broun's belongings set alight in a public square for having prayed too long to an outlawed Faith empowering the likes of them over new Kings anointed in their stead. Each time I have condemned this place, I find myself thrown back against the door; strive to obscure indelible marks of my fear in you, like a child caught with the broken pieces of a mother's favourite vase. Please forgive the shape of bodies plied to distort their limbs on the basis of Survival– I am not made stronger by Experience, but rather have grown knowledgeable of Temerity and Patience in the face of all that we are not: Safe, deserving neither of our succor nor our bleeding cuts beneath the sword of all they are not able to conceive of in their terror– having found inside them Nothing, either but the way we bend to meet them– eyes as Open to discrepant shared realities as theirs are firmly shut to ours. No, I did not think that I deserved it– I thought they were the ones who did not Deserve to lose me; who would not bear my absence and so could not bring myself to craft it– it was not me I kept alive, but ghosts of those who used to feed me everything but what I'd needed, wishing they might find in Empty hands a loss incalculable to years and ages of the even Older ones whose names I find, finally, in faint relief etched in the stones paving the cellar; confusions over-spent the only testament to those who came before us. Am I now my pain so that you who never truly lived may avoid a more humane; Timely demise–? In the Fortnight of the Ancestors, might I forgive and begin to Harvest, here the unbound hands and tentative mirth of any animal permitted warmth; permission, here, to Try? Tarry here a little longer, Shadow; you need not go away– for over thee I trace my fingers as if darkness inked the letters to our younger Selves who knew not yet their burden– observe Her like the puppet played hidden behind the screen; deduce the figure in proportion to the lies we cast as if they were the blessings meant by Ancestors to fair, protect us; for as poorly as they seemed to serve, those meagre rations measure every ounce they had to offer. If I am to leave, let it be with all your better Blessings– the ones grown too late for you to receive save in my careful, at last Becoming. -- The day we leave is a long one. There seems so much to do until we realize there is nothing to take but our own Body, possessed as it is of all inside this strange and Holy building. I kneel in ready supplication on a ground I've known as parched and find instead the damp of a lover's breath; you were here all along, just waiting for the moment we might kiss. My hand on the frame of an open door lies as heavy as it did feel closed; goodbye, my ready Darling– may you never truly part from me, but having held us both together, I must now get on; am growing ever taller.