“Breathe Close to Me” by Nolo Segundo

Breathe close to me.
Let not your head droop
Nor your face grimace
In fierce grief, for when
I must leave, all will not
Leave with me, I promise.

The memories we made
Together will sit safely
Inside your mind’s nest.
I’ll leave the photos too—
I can’t take them with me,
So you’ll have the proof
We were young once,
Both pretty and foolish,
Drawn together like
Two bees put in a jar,
Buzzing around each other
Until their disparate sound
Becomes a kind of music.

The photos and memories
Can take you back to all
The places we loved in
Italy and France and that
Windblown prehistoric
Southern beach where
Our hearts first linked
In tandem as flesh merged
And the monk-like sun set
Slowly, silently o’er that
Endless and holy ocean.

Yet they lie, those photos
And remembrances of our
Youth and middle years,
For no canvas or brain
Can seize our love, the
Living thing it is, unseen
But tangible as a hand,
Vulnerable yet enduring
Past anger, illness and
Even death, because time
Cannot diminish this
Being born between us.


“Breathe Close to Me” first appeared in Dual Coast Magazine




Nolo Segundo, pen name of retired teacher L. J. Carber, 74, became a published poet in his 8th decade with work in 47 online / in print literary magazines in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Portugal, Romania, and India; in 2020, a trade publisher released a book-length collection titled The Enormity Of Existence, and in 2021, a second book titled Of Ether And Earth. His themes are the not so brave new world of aging; that inscrutable mystery we trivialize as ‘love’; and the awareness he’s had for 50 years since having an NDE [near-death experience] while almost drowning in a Vermont river that he is sharing a long dream with a myriad of other dreamers, and that he has probably dreamt such dreams many times before.

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