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The Dave Matthews Band & Your Silent Departure

for b.p.w

Benin Lemus

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.



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