onion skins (for irena)

we were all once stars, matter layered inside stars,

the projected dust of some super nova

touched by a butterfly’s wing.

each dust shell is the edge of star mass projected

by helium flash once every fifteen hundred years.

if these are the final drawn out gasps of a dying star

then did you shed shells of yourself

in those first motions of death?

 

as i peel back each familiar skin

i come closer to the fundamental you

and the emergent possibilities of our eternal symmetry.

i look to your discarded shell and understand

that you leave me with more

than just these layers of memory.

 

walking alone on towradgi beach

i see waves that are water slices

shaved in succession

by the continental shelf,

the next one forming over as the spent one recedes

and I know that our past motion is your energy

stored inside of me.