The Dave Matthews Band & Your Silent Departure
I did not hear you leave. A satellite launched before the solstice arrived, and you became
a new moon for the planets. It was as if Jupiter danced with Saturn, and Venus interrupted.
I was not ready. You were under the table and dreaming while I dug through crates of memories
and dusty vinyl jackets.We had an imaginary dance floor long distance.We were younger then.
You were not ill, and I was not a mother. How could I not hear death coming for you? Was I not
listening? What were you trying to tell me about our last afternoon on the phone? You saw the
sky open, and it called for you. It was your time to leave and become a part of the heavens. You
surrendered your breathing, became ash and rock, and pressed and formed a satellite. Your
finality here becomes infinite there. You command the ocean’s flow from my eyes, and an
earthquake of loss creates a tidal wave of crashing sorrow. I am tethered by gravity while you are
a permanent resident of the cosmos. Bring me a harvest moon, brother. Let it burn orange on my
disconsolate face, shield eclipses that singe my eyes if I stare too long. Send a high tide and wash
the sadness that lingers on my shore. You are a satellite in a galaxy, among hundreds flickering
in the night sky.Tell me the next clear night and I’ll stand from wherever the air is still clear. Be
there to greet me and I will open my eyes, close them to everything I am supposed to forget, so I
can just see you the moon in orbit. Send me a reservoir of assurance that when you wax and
when you wane, you will never burst like the stars, but continue to circle around the planet that is
my broken heart.Where are you going? I am under your sky and dreaming and it is so quiet
now. I did not hear you leave.
Benin Lemus (she|her) is a poet and an educator based in South Los Angeles. She earned her B.A. in English from Bennett College in North Carolina and an MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California. Her debut poetry collection, Dreaming in Mourning, will be published by World Stage Press in November 2022.