No matter how many times I take your picture

No matter how many different ways I take it

I can’t seem to capture you

I can’t seem to hold your smell

your skin

your warmth I feel when we hug

No matter what I do, to make you stay here

I understand staying is not the way it works

staying is only prolonging goodbye

but I need you because when you leave

It is my turn to become you

and when you leave, I no longer have the buffer

of life, which you provide

which your father and mother provided,

which your brother provided

which your sister provided.

I am alone when you leave

and not alone, knowing

that after you have left, I may

have more access to you

than I do now

but such access

is the type

where I may not ever hear your replies.

but more than that, I need you

because of how I love you

and because you guide me.

And then, I sit, and beside me is my son

his head laying on my lap, asleep, as I was once with you

he looks up simply, and asks

Daddy, please tickle my back

and in that moment

and every moment he asks me one of those questions

I understand where I am,

and exactly where you are.