don’t say ocean, say unending blue

by Alice Hickson 

puddles break
into streams forging their
path down the driveway and
absence bores through me

we lie in mid morning twilight
snowflakes jump from the windowsill
to the rooftop and
I beg you

don’t say absence say abyss
it’s not a hole it’s a valley
for empty words
to echo off and

my fingers are blistered from carrying
these memories and running
across the faded fissures of a map
measuring the distance between us
what we say and what
we mean

don’t say it gets easier say
you will participate in the slow and painful process of forgetting
that maybe letting go is not dissimilar
to pulling splinters from skin