I wrote all but the final line a couple of years ago. I think I had just finished reading Mark Strand’s Blizzard of One.
Your friends are gone,
your lover too.
For now the house is quiet.
Your mind will turn to sleep.
Your dreams will take you
back to the beginning,
back before it all went bad.
No matter –
Your heart is a house with paper walls,
they will collapse if you move too fast.
So you learn the ancient art of breathing
and how to feel for your Qi in the veins of your neck.
What if you could recreate the beginning?
If they all return tomorrow will you burst into bloom?
Perhaps everything will turn out right.
Though you may wake from your dream
to find the sun has yet to bring an end to the night.