“Units Functioning as Carriers of Meaning, Combined Under Certain Linking Conditions”

Portals and ports of call
they are
lost,
sought,
found or borrowed—

we lie among them,
leave home, then return,
thinking we’ve left them behind.

Forgotten,
rediscovered or unremembered,
they live and die in time with their keepers.

Tribes, colonies,
civilizations upon a page,
they siege an endless expanse
’til slain by a single stroke.

We birth and bury them by lines
dually indebted—
we as much of their making as they are of ours.

As friends, forgivers, we await them,
patient, certain,
as commandants, we force them
’til glass and smiles crack.

Without expiration,
they can still sour,
leaving an odor to a room
years after they’re passed.

Un-returnable, they remain with us,
acquisitions as often regretted
as treasured, most
when the finality of the exchange
is non-negotiable.

Only as foreign as we are to each other,
a few taken together can
create family from strangers
or from the familiar, estrange.

 And though a lifetime may pass
between interpretive acts,
there are still one or two
I wish to share with you.

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