Vigil

for Riv
My friend, I cannot
watch you, miles away,
intubated, awash
with medicine, cordoned
amid a hush of mechanical
saviors. I cannot sing
with you, your unabashed 
heart brimming with
life in dark nights
of karaoke and root
beer. 

I would rather have offered 
parts of my body, to keep
you encompassed among
us.
As I live,
as I die, I would rather have
you piecemeal than
not at all.

I could pluck
my beard, cry out
in the wilderness, I
could burn a blessed
candle and offer your
pain to God.

But, I respect your 
unbelief and 
though this
means 
I cannot pray for
you, 

but, 
my friend,

I will 
stand
with you
and hope.