what stayed

what stayed upon this place
was the stain of your leaving
where your footsteps pressed upon the stair
i knew not to wake you there.

i found two angels waiting
in the courtyard, by the place
where we used to sit and watch the fire
crackling in the pit.
they were made of stone
they moved slowly, like they couldn’t remember
what they once knew to be true.
i watched them as they stood
in poses filled with longing, with an aching gaze
perhaps they are still there
painted in sunlight and summer ivy
hoping for the fires to stop.

i found a bluebird building a nest
in the closets where we kept our secrets
where we looked in mirrors and wondered
if we had dreamt each other up.
between the summer dresses and lace-up winter boots
she built a nest of twigs and dead leaves
brought in from beside the pool
three speckled eggs were tucked inside the nest
and when i looked her way
she looked back at me
with fear, and muster, and knowing
that this was the end.

i found a white tiger on the stairs
tearing at the banisters and crunching on the rosewood
he padded slowly down to what once had been
the living room, messy but just lived-in
now shadows and ancient rugs
spill the light upon the floor
from wide windows facing the pond.
he leapt upon the couch, the arm of which was missing
and began to clean the splinters from his teeth.
he met my eyes as i walked through
but did not see me
his stare, white-blue and blind as sunlight.

i stepped onto the front porch
and stared down the lane
the long, empty driveway
what once had been a swing set
now covered long in ivy
its twirls dark and all curled up
like handwriting, its message never known.
i tilted my head back and waited for the sunset 
to dive behind the ash
i waited a long, long while.