Nineteen

(life and love immeasurable, may you rest in peace and glory)


When you are oceans away from home

and your body — your vessel — has failed you

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.

When you have smoke and saltwater in your throat

but treasures on your tongue

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.

When the pulses in your eyelids become

war drums

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.

When you are a barren valley posing as

paradise though the rain never comes

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.

When the moon turns to ash and you are left with

flame and faith to light your way

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.


But when you are happy — and no longer

so terribly alone and afraid

Don’t you ever forget that I love you.

Happy 19th birthday, Anthony. You are missed.