Photograph of candles.

love letters from home

one of my friends shares your birthday
and it feels like a sign.

begins with a dull ache, memories
like blurry photographs – phasing in and out.

then, the arrest. i wish you well, language
slipping from my tongue. i can’t find the cake you like here.

how can somebody so present lose their presence?
did we simply get used to burning candles?

someone asks me what you were like. i fall back
on tangible things: the way you cooked the eggs,

the radio that you would bring around the house.
grasping at permanence as if it didn’t amplify absence.

i tell myself it’s been five years.
i don’t know why i said that.

one of my friends shares your birthday.
we split cake in a café; it feels like the holidays.

Image credit: Zenia via Pexels