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The Lifting

You lay on your side
in a field
of wild flowers and summer afternoon heat.
I had no wings
—though I imagined them—
yet I hovered over you
covering you
from the elements.
When I stood
your halo pulsed.

We went to a Shushwap Medicine Wheel
in the summer of Oka.
The eagles soaring above
often appeared
and disappeared
out of
and into
despite our search
for continuity in their flight. 
My sweat lodge lasted days
When you emerged
from the moon lodge
I asked how it went.
Your eyes looked at mine
into mine
through mine
around mine
all over mine,
and you said
that you couldn’t say.
You aren’t able to say?
You aren’t allowed to say?
You shouldn’t say?
You aren’t moved to say?
As we walked to an after dinner meal
Your visage was substantial
and weighty
yet light
and fluid
and opposed to gravity.
Your halo began to envelope
your neck and head,

You lay on your side
in a field
of wild flowers,
and summer twilight.
I had no wings
—though an eagle appeared above—
I hovered over you
covering you from the elements
[the cooling sky].
When I stood
your whole body aura
was pale
and rose and fell
with your breath.
was counting down.

We were sitting on a boulder
in March
on the west shore slope of the Maritime Museum marina,
facing the setting sun
grinning into crispy winds
and the intermittent spray
of the life
in the sea.
Your ears were reddening.
Your fingers icy.
Your resolve was firm.
Squeezing your eyes closed,
inhaling deeply
then holding your breath
you willed your
body temperature to rise
beyond where the wool sweater
Your glow spilled out your eyes
and cocooned your whole body,
capturing parts of me
—and the boulder—
I’ve never since felt that 

You lay on your side
in a field
of wild flowers
on a northwestern shoulder of Mount Baker,
chirping insects,
and midnight blue sky.
I longed for wings
—the moon began to creep up over the glacier—
I hovered over you
covering you from the elements
[the cooled sky].
When I stood
I watched you wake,
sit up
hug your knees
feel the glow
emanating from your bones,
close your eyes
and fade into light,
leaving me to walk
back down to the forest
yet with tears of loss
streaming down my face.

The last time I ever saw you
was the following winter
in the pub
at SFU
where we sat together
sharing a huge hot chocolate
with Baileys,
reading our respective books,
pausing and watching the winter wind pelt
—then sprinkle—
the rain
onto the windows.
The moon wouldn’t rise that night
behind the overcast darkening sky.
Because of this,
you looked up
out the window
and back at me.
Borrowed time.
Ineffable memories.
The flux of moments.
Your waiting.
My wondering.
The feeling of loss
of contact
of fleeting contact
and days gone by.
You stood,
packed your gear,
and walked out into the rain,
to face south,
look up into the brooding sky,
take the pelting rain on the chin,
let the wind whip your hair wildly
and stare
until the clouds thinned
then parted
and the moon
returned to you.

Copyright 2002, Stephen Buckley
07.24.02, 1:15-2:50am 

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