Clearing

I spent a good hour
tearing pages—my words
printed, yours in pencil or red ink
of varying insight or helpfulness
and now I can’t imagine
this grief is as much
over our faded friendship
as the recalling to death
of these characters I once loved
and lived with so long

(all my beloveds go
the same way, ashes
to the dark, glinting
memory stitched
into quilts: soft-worn
fragments here
there hard-bright lines
passing beauty)