When the light in my eyes no longer reflects the sun's slow repose,
when my smile will not lift when you pass my threshold,
when my fingers cannot compose another phrase
from the deep, fluent well of my many-chambered heart,
then release me gently,
for I am already on my way
to a finer, brighter place.
Do not try to retrieve a breath that will not be bartered.
Do not weep over my shell as though I could hear or comfort your grief.
Your tears will only make the river rise against its banks
and make my crossing much more difficult to bear.
Just loosen the knotted moorings and let me drift
to that distant shore where pain is unknown,
where laughter rings freely beneath buoyant clouds
as kites find their own way, without a tether to hold,
far above those gnarled branches that would bend them
and keep them, aching and bound.