One of my favorites – with gratitude Jeff Foster
WE WILL MEET AGAIN
I see you through the plane window as we descend. You have exploded into colour.
We met as the camps were liberated, didn’t we, in the rubble and the ash and the bone we met, we had lost everything but we had found each other, I saw your lioness heart and it pulled me in.
You stamped my ticket at a vaudeville show. An awkward moment of small talk, we could barely keep eye contact through the discomfort. Creation and destruction in your eyes. I looked for you afterwards but you were gone.
We followed Moses to the promised land. We had faith then. Great seas parted, unspeakable miracles. We built a family on new earth, raised our children.
Bright eyed, seventeen years of age, hope aflame, we marched off to war together and we never came home. We had wanted to save the world. I imagine our parents waiting there at the station, breathless, red-eyed, scanning all the young faces. They wait for us still.
I moistened your lips in a hospital room one evening. You were dying, the cancer was slowly eating away at your lungs. I recited Bible verse and you squeezed my hand.
“Bind me as a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.”
Two thousand years later, a colony on Mars. I see you here in the dirt and the rock and the sunrise.
I have seen you in a million places.
I have met you in a million forms.
You were there at the formation of our solar system, you whispered to me something about love everlasting and then you fell from my grasp and everything turned to fire.
All the myths were always pointing to you. All the stories I told my children as they grew.
“Tell us that one again, Daddy. The one about the sweet friends who kept meeting.”
“Okay,” I say. “Okay.”
We have been male and female, vegetable and stone, formless and form, the swallow and the eagle, the snake and the gazelle, fantastic creatures of the deep. We have been crucified, whipped, tied to posts and burnt, draped in gold and silver jewels and lauded by the world and derided in turn. We have faced the firing squad together, our bodies pressed close one last time, flesh to flesh as we became vessels for spirit.
You have been my brother, my sister, my child. I have mothered you from infancy, and you have mothered me in return. We have been lovers and friends, we have recognised each other in countless disguises, here on the same side and there on different sides. And in the end there were no sides at all, only this magnificent Loop, this One Circle – majestic, resplendent, regal, unbroken through time, utterly mysterious, and towering over all things.
These pages are wet with tears now, thinking of you, remembering your many faces, the ink is running, the words are fading, I will lose this poem if I do not stop writing.
No matter. You are in me, and I in you.
We will meet again.
- Jeff Foster