I want to remember each breath
faint as the wings of a trapped butterfly.
I want to open the lids which sit at half-mast
over the eyes that have loved me.
I want to touch again your throat
intricate as an ancient parchment,
at that spot where the swallow rose and fell slowly.
I want to hold your head forever
where the hairline receded and the small white hairs
sprouted like snowflakes.
I want to take your essence and every memory crumpled within it,
and carry it with me like a cross.
(In memoriam, Agnes McGillen)