Never Say Never Say Never

by Patrick James Errington

But here we are, here where the page ends, hidebound,
hand-held and welled with sleep. Morning. Little left

to say, so sing or let cling words like late leaves, like
children. Always, eventually, the last time; all fathers

someday set their daughters on their feet to never
again pick them up. They flock your skin, nevers, as

feathers, slip the water from wing; pale after touch gives
up to colour. So what is there to do, then, but keep

touching? It’s not too much to ask. To leave just one
choice unmade, still warm, a last page unread, a wild

wish wild and unwaited for, one small promise kept
back. Last night’s rain pearls spruce and milkweed. But

don’t wake. Not just yet. I’m glazing our will-not-bes
in long, last syllables until they’re all smooth and semiprecious.

I’ll set stones along your body. And when
you wake, leave lightly. When you leave, come back.