I somehow don't have a word or
words to say what I just could not
say at any point even when I
whispered "I love you" and "goodnight"
and I called your name up and down
and up the stairs again and once more
because I felt lucky, I felt like you might
just hear me through your exhale of
cigarette smoke. I wondered, often, as
a child, if your breath would smell sweeter
had you been a little kinder or had smoked
a little less. But I learned that kindness is
neither inhaled or exhaled: it was in the lightness of
your hand on my shoulder and the circles
it made on my troubled belly.
Dameion is a language arts teacher at a high school in Central Ohio. Two of his other poems appear in Columbus Creative Cooperative's first poetry anthology The Ides of March: An Anthology of Ohio Poets. His poems reflect his desire to whittle down the logs of language into sticks and twigs, something for kindling and warmth. He's hopeful that the joy he finds in writing and sharing poetry finds its way into his classroom every day.