Just before I heard you died
just a moment before
I heard you’d gone
I’d been holding this
worn copy of Beowulf
and I’d laughed because
how you loved Beowulf
and I didn’t?

how you could
sit with a person
sit next to a person
and make them feel
so smart
and so significant?

how you had such darkness
and such light
and one did not diminish the other?

And did you know that your presence
was so tangible
I think,
because you had so much
mind and heart
that your body could not contain it. But–

how you made me laugh
and made me think
and taught me
and pushed me
and Middle Earth days
and sonnets we spoke
and the professor we loved?

the girl who struggled
in class and you–
no one knew it–
but you–
you got her through it,
didn’t you?

how we–
my husband and I–
we danced to your music and
your soul was on your sleeve
and in the song?

but this is where I had to stop
because the thing is

it’s too hard
right now

to believe

that you

are gone.

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