Before I ever reached out for your palm,
while you still yearned for my breath
from the other side of the cafeteria,
I dropped a cluster of crumpled and
dried mushrooms into my glass of orange tea.

Thirty minutes later, while my stomach
tumbled down a hill of anticipation, I stared
up into a sprawling palm tree. The fronds
became a green paint brush squashed
into a bucket of blue. A rigid long frond
reached out to a whispering hand
drifting in the dusk wind and swirling
sperm swam in the blue sea of the sky.

While the palm still struggled to reach
his illusive neighbor, I grasped your
palm, and felt your fingers in the growth
of my hair. I eventually discovered
that your name, Tamara, in ancient
Hebrew meant palm, and that you were
born on Palm Sunday. Further study
of poets departed, taught that I was
your father in the Biblical sense.

Your nightmares of death were never defeated,
despite the nights that I struggled to kill them.
Engulfed by the fears of an unknown beyond
you drifted into their midst.

Before your funeral, I passed beneath the palm
that still stretched to reach the un-wanting
hand of his coy partner.

After I kissed your casket, they drove you away
past a rigid line of upturned palms. I withdrew
your jewelry from the cold palm of my hand
and placed the pieces onto the flesh
of your departing companions.

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