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A Poem For My Friend Daniel Who Was On My Mind When I Was Walking Home and Missing Him Very Much

He laughs and smiles quickly
the way that people do
when they want you to know,
at the core of your being,
that you’re lovely
and it’s going to be okay.
All of it.
No matter what you say or do.
You’re lovely and it’s going to be okay.
That’s how he smiles at you.

It took me several years before I began to realize
the scale of his pain.
I think I missed it
not because it’s so small
but because it’s so vast
and with pain like that,
what’s a fellow to do?

He had a mother once.
A father once (of sorts).
A wife

just once.

And at night his heart departs his body
and follows deer-tracks to the underworld
Where he wanders like Orpheus, Lynda
Lynda, where are you?
And where am I?
And can it be that I can be where you are not?

His children (of sorts) know that he is wise in the way of fools
who know that wisdom is overrated
so he might as well just sit and listen awhile.
I sit beside him as he doodles.
I watch him paint.
And when we parted at the airport in Los Angeles, I kissed him on the mouth.

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