breaking up

come to me

as the person you know as

the one who will go

softly in silence from you

slowly and close

feel the most we can offer

all of this flesh thru the mess of our parting

there. you see? the magic the warmth

still willingly there

all we have shared

has formed a bond

not to tie us or hold us captive

but to wrap our walk

thru this passage

peacefully gentle

compassionately free.

douglas brent smith


This is at least the third version of this poem. I'll never get it exactly right, just as I never figured out how to get breaking up exactly right. Much has changed since 1977 when the first bits of this poem appeared, and yet...much remains a mystery -- like the mystery of how does someone fall out of love?

To me it feels the same as if you said you'd decided to stop breathing. How do you do that? 

doug smith

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No One Expected Moses

  No One Expected Moses -- collage by douglas brent smith 4 August 1983