05 December 2014

I love you Jim. - Sungila (Joshua) O’Donnell

to Jim

That’s the way it was
I had routines, things I did everyday
It didn’t matter – I did it anyway
In summer I’d walk off the trails
It was impossible to get lost
People would sometimes hear me out there.
They’d stop and look through the woods
I’d watch them settle their questions about me
A blue jay, a red squirrel, a wild turkey
It’s funny how most people don’t even see crows
I’d be right there, naked, changing
Glistening in those black eyes
Wet with bay water – toes wrapped on a root
Nothing, nobody, already gone.

Winter came just in time to fix the awful
Knowing that I had been where I was
Walking on water – ghost light skinny
Listening to ice talk – babbling out loud
Speaking ocean in slant rhyme and repeated lines
Seesawing icebergs with my shadow.

I must have been watching her for a long time
I had taken off both pairs of gloves to get warm
The pain was just returning to my fingers
I pressed them hard into that hemlock
She said something, I wasn’t hearing
Then she must have said it again
I shivered; she was looking right at me
Looking right at her
Suddenly I knew to go away.

I have a new routine now
- the same way
When I think of her, what she said
It’s always different.

Coyote out on the frozen bay
Looking back over her shoulder
She says
Hello & fuck off
– like it was
It’s got to be this cold to see your breath.

I love you Jim.
-          Sungila (Joshua) O’Donnell
Brunswick, Maine
December 5, 2014

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