(Response to Pablo Neruda’s Poem)

I want you to know
one thing

if there is ever a day
when you begin to think
where I am in this world
and if I could live without you

you need to stop,
like not move in your tracks,
but look down upon the imprints
your feet made in the sand
where you and I walked together
arm in arm, side by side
shoulder touching shoulder

and observe that you are ingrained
in my brain like every kennel of sand
that lies beside the largest ocean
in this world where we inhabit
two sides familiar, yet foreign
to one another

just beside the log cabin
you built me for my last birthday
before you had to say good bye,
while I begged you on all six legs

not to leave me like this,
but, in the end, I just had to let you go
because when you love someone
that is just what you must do.
Set them free
to do what they need or want to do
just when they want to do it

whether it is with you or not—
while always keeping in mind

I will never in my lifetime or yours
ever stop loving everything about you.