by Mike Dillon



Who among us has not grown to consider

     what real loss is?


Not loss of grandparents,

     (a grief-cape waved at a bull bearing a padded horn)


or even loss of parents (the horn-pierced heart

     still beats),


but to wonder if we’ve settled for less

     than the world was ready to give,


or to feel, as Bashō did,

     even if it’s only for one breath-beat,


what it means to stand in the heart of Kyoto

     longing for Kyoto.



From Close Enough (Georgetown, Kentucky: Finishing Line Press, 2023), page 1.