Death and a Bolt of Lightning (2022)

When I saw the flash of red in the sky,
that sharp rip of light;
there for a second,
and then gone,
I remembered how it felt when they told me you were dying.

Everyone gathered around,
heads tilted up to the stormy sky
trying to catch a glimpse
“It’s called a sprite,” said the man next door
with his hands over his ribs,
and I could see the calluses on his fingers
and each scar gashed through his palm

I thought the sky was falling.
I thought the clouds would crash to the ground
while we watched, futile, empty,
so, so small.

My mother called me today
and we both cried,
1200 kilometers apart
the static of the phone call
and the silence between sentences
holding me when she could not

It takes a lot of bravery to have faith.
It takes all of the strength in your beating, finite heart
to believe in something you have never seen.
The day I met you, I was sure
the restlessness in your young body
and the love in your wet, wide eyes
would make me have faith in

the clouds will turn grey-blue-purple
and the sky will open up,
(my heart will open up)
and when, high above the earth,
that red bolt of energy appears,
jolting, pumping, living,
without anyone looking,
(Does God appear if no one is looking?)
I will lift my head,
and close my eyes,
and feel you everywhere.