When your father died
I didn’t know you then
when you were the curled edges of a dead leaf
and it wasn’t until now
that I was the stranger who stopped on the sidewalk and held you
even though you were creased to the core
etched with crevices
as I hold your body to the sun
under the light I see every vein
and I run my fingers across your papery skin
and you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever touched
freckles of leaf ash held in my palm.
I still can’t get over how much has changed. My life is completely different.