I followed you
barefoot on pavement
just as I promised I would.

They say you looked back
but you never did.

I stooped to pick up
the tears you shed
and placed them in my own eyes

I listened as you played your lyre
and sang in the meadows —
first in sad solitude, mourning for me

later in village squares
where the people set down their
hammers and brooms
and gathered around you.

I listened as she came to share your melodies;
My own voice sang along
even as the weeds grew in my throat,
as the water lilies bloomed over my lips
so that my songs would not reach you

Still I stayed close
as my body transformed
into the river that gazed
upon the house you built without me

the hearth where you sit, wife and
children around you
floating like ghosts on your songs

Won’t you even look up
if I come to the door
if I stand and sing on the threshold?

Won’t you even notice when the wind
rips the roots from this house?
When the earth rises up
and we both vanish for good?

I am a University of Toronto graduate student in comparative literature and my writing has been published online by Fresh Yarn, Ghoti, Boxcar Poetry Review and Wild Goose Poetry Review.