Loneliness by Kimo Armitage I am close to dying but today I will try to sit up. I wish to feel the sun on my face, and touch my toes to the pond’s surface, across these mossy spaces, a breath from tiny, labored heart chambers, below my voice, a gasp above my ribcage pulled tight & crosswise through seasons. Gentle Autumn fools me into believing that it is Spring. I hunch over in grief for this lily, a flower of the water, near where I raised my children that I held in my arms. My journeys have ended, to the jagged cliffs of Isle of Man, to the snowy lands of New Zealand, to the royal castles of Japan. I wear this cold wind like a blanket, it carries the smell of the ocean and heaps the seaweed into bunches on the shoreline. My ecstasy, the first unfurled fronds, as dragonflies buzz in empty spaces. Minutes amble unfulfilled, before a calm rain heals. Perhaps I am polluted, unworthy my rapture, unrequited this silence as willows cast crooked shadows across my face in the breeze, I am dancing now. I leap. My soul, now a flower.