Who would I be without you?
Me, but not this me,
not the one who has trudged
through this snow and this mud.
I would not be the self
that slogged his way through
the evolution of boy to man
and torn myself from the bracken water
to stand ankle deep
in the stagnant swamps
of the American dream.
Without you, I might never
fly on the wings of a waltz
or float, buoyed in your eloquence.
You are my sustenance,
my meat and my sated sweet tooth.
Without you, in my ravening
I would gnaw the bones of my own darkness
till they lay cracked and marrow-dry
and cast carelessly about
the cave where this dragon lies
curled protectively about his treasure,
guards it as fiercely as any mastiff would
the land and people it loves.
Without you, I would still be me,
but not this me, not the one
who quilts words and wraps them tight around you
when you shiver.