Most mornings you woke before me
to begin your sacred rites, first
bringing a glass of water and leaving it,
just there, on the nightstand that instantly
became an alter with your offering. Then,
to the kitchen to brew coffee and sometimes
I'd wake with the smell of it, stretching
into its earthen scent, the hazelnut creamer
you knew was my favorite.
If that was not enough, you'd bring out the pans,
the tongs, the spatula, and cook a breakfast
that would almost certainly coax me out
of dreaming, convince me to leave the comfort
of cotton and down. These
were your rituals, your prayer beads,
your communion, each morning kiss
an ablution, a baptism, a benediction.
I've never been good with the concept of the divine.
I left the church at age eleven, had a talk
with God to apologize, said I just couldn't hold
the idea all at once in my mind.
And so, on the rare mornings with you
when I woke first, all I could do was stare,
my heart trapped in my throat, wrapped in awe
and fear and rapture like a cloak, my eyes brimming with love
and wonder, too frightened to move, afraid
even the smallest ripple could shatter it all,
that you, like God, were just a fragile dream.