I think of you whenever I cross
the muddy river, more often now
that I’m living on the far side.
When Ohio becomes not “home”
but “place of origin” it’s easier
to call it beautiful.
I think of you when I look
at someone who loves me, and I know
what you meant about breaking
into blossom. An unfurling of petals
that burst through the skin,
love, a continual fracture.
I seek your wild perfections
in every late night line, as I watch
my glass empty and the lights
across the street go out.
Your words: a yellowed map
of a familiar place, dried edges delicate
but fibers strong like hand-knotted lace.