Calling our beasts by their proper names
means letting go of hope
and its long distance ecstasies.
Each rightful companion
has her own ending place.
Grief the graveyard of names.
In the open space, exchange.
I lost panther to gain leopard.
My hair let go of its color
and as I let go of my pain
even my leopard started thinking
she was someone else.
But I needed her more as witness
than as companion.
Her spots the doors now
closed to me, paths complete.
Though she yearns, my leopard
is too previous to become lion.
She waits for me on the shore,
sends her selves in circles out
along the smooth surface of my life.
Each day I drag her darkness forward.