billy never said much,
except with his eyes
and his hands.

i don’t recall him 
that he loved me.

but i knew,
and i know,
that he did.

billy was a good fisherman
and knew the best spots.
i loved to sit among the rocks,
watching him stand, 
still as an oak tree,
waiting for a bite.

he kissed me often
and always smiled
as he pulled his lips
from mine.

billy never made much money
and had no fancy degrees,
but he knew  
how to love
a woman
and how to live
life in the heat of the midday sun.

i wish i could see him again–
just once more
would mean so much.

how many years ago
it was
the last time i saw billy.

how many transits of the moon
across my bed.
how many times i reached out
for him,
as i awoke from pleasant dreams.

is anyone really ever gone.
anyone who mattered.
even if the years
were to steal away
every memory
of billy
would he not
inside my flesh, 
where the real me
always hidden.

two birds circling down
from heavy skies,
seeking a soft place
to land and shelter
from the gathering night.