this is not a letter but my arms around you for a brief moment

by Marina McCready

nearly made you a bird, but the
feathers wouldn’t fit together so i became
frustrated, feeling futility in my hands instead of
wings. nearly held on anyway.

nearly cried that first day but someone
had to be the strong one. swallowed
the sadness with a cup of tea and a pinch
of salt. nearly coughed up the sea.

nearly hooked myself up to your
IV drip, as if to tether us together, nearly
wrapped myself in it like a blanket
of saline solution, like it was all i had.

(which it was)

nearly made blueprints, nearly built a whole
world, all churches and cafes like in
Wimbledon Village, like we always dreamed.
we always dreamed, but i couldn’t do it alone.

nearly wrote your birthday card, but
it would have been a waste of
paper. i bought you a bouquet
instead, you always liked roses.

nearly said goodbye but i was
just a little girl and you flew away
so fast that neither of us could
catch our breath.