“Thursday, June Twelfth” or “Eight Days Later”

dedicated, with sincerest humility, to all of my colleagues, both past and present. i miss you. i love you. happy summer.

 

one-hundred
and eighty
days      of nonsense
of exhaustion
of fervor
of reward
of connection
of the explicable
all weave together
to create tenuous strings
that bind me to you.

these strings
they are fragile
because anything
sturdy and strong and secure
is not as valuable
and so
throughout these
one-hundred
and eighty
days,
i guard these strings
with my whole heart
and being
because they (you)
are my fragile family
and that (you)
is worth guarding
more than much else.

then the summer comes
and greets us
with a fanfare barely recognized
in our delirium.
it is welcomed,
and so beautiful–

but every time,
there is a small,
minuscule knot
in the pit of my stomach
kept there
by an oft-forgotten part of my heart
that is all-too-used
to the loss of things–
valuable things.

i cannot reason away
this pesky knot
that exists
because i no longer
pass you, visit you, absent-mindedly
three times a day, or
twice a week, or
whenever i need you.

you feel      less secure
more ephemeral
as we escape back
into the rest of the world
for three [two, really] months
of rejuvenation
that is so desperately necessary
but also
so bittersweet
in     so many ways.

as much as i hate to admit it,
there is always a fledgling sprig of joy
that overtakes me come august

for our fragile strings
are once again made shorter

this family
so (in)valuable
reunited
somehow
in this           crazy
awful
invigorating
exhausting

dance of what we do.

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