Lately I feel the need to tell
the people I love how much I love them.
The people I love need to know
I love them when they feel alone.
Lately when I feel alone I picture
the faces of the people I love,
beautiful faces not unlike my own.
I see my reflection in the eyes
of the people I love and I feel
more connected, less alone.
Lately I hear the people I love
speaking to me in my own voice.
They beg me to repeat their names
to remember they’re not alone.
Everyone has a voice, let’s not forget,
and a name, and every word we speak
contains traces of all the letters
in every name we call our own.
I love the names of the people I love.
I repeat them to myself.
I picture the people I love,
in front of me now,
mouthing the letters of my name
exactly as this poem sounds.
Lately I wonder if the people I love
hear my voice or if they simply hear
the sound of my voice speaking directly
to their pain and suffering and joy.
I wonder if the people I love know
how much I love them, how often
they save my life and help me survive.
I want to repeat, all at once,
all the names of the people I love.
I want the people I love to recognize
the sound of my voice long after I’m gone
and my life is no longer mine alone.