. A life alone is at its center bare, A quiet conversation with myself, A single, threadbare suit I always wear, A volume set aside upon life's shelf. A time or two fate's hands would find me paired, Awakening to partnership each day. A coupled time where thoughts and deeds were shared, An interlude that kept dark thoughts at bay. A pleasure past is left as dispossessed, An absence added to my solitude. As life is loaned by time then repossessed, A canvas bright at birth becomes grey-hued. __To once more find a love would ease my soul, __To have a peer to hold would make life whole. . . Michael Miller received his Master's in English from San Francisco State University from the Creative Writing Department. His poems were published in the New Guard Review and upcoming in Lyric Magazine and he was a finalist in the 2020 San Francisco Writers Conference Fiction Contest. Living in Seattle, he is recently retired from a career as a software engineer and participates in writing workshops at Richard Hugo House.