abroad, you learned
to bottle your love;
self-taught you perfected your craft
promised i'd never feel alone again
and determined, set to work.
you penned hundreds of letters
in your slanted copperplate script,
stories of the stars above Vancouver
hazy sunrises crawling across Scotland
and the way it made you dream of me.
you collected soft pebbles
borrowed from the tide of the Baltic sea
leaves from autumn in North Carolina,
corked the bottle from the last of your Parisian wine
and with one press of your pink stain lips
tossed it into the Atlantic,
trusting the ocean's currents
to bring a piece of you to me.

your handmade love never made it ashore.
hours roll softly to days to months
tolled, situated astride driftwood bones
ruthless reminders of your absence
imploring me to wander the world –
your voice whispering soft in my ear
reminding me that the stars are drops of fire
leading me home to you.