THE DRY EARTH
I buried you
under years of dry earth
but I marked your grave
so I can find it later
when I’m ready
when I have time
to fall into your grave
and be buried with you
there under the dry earth
holding you again
till what’s left of you
the memory of you
and my tears float me
to the surface
or my anger claws
through earth and rock
leading me back to the sun
however long it takes
more than this day
or the next
so I drive by
I haven’t forgotten
where I left you
how to find you
and one day
we will meet again
when I and grief
into the dry earth
A FIXED GAZE
What happens when we die?
When the sun can’t wake us,
though it tries?
When the cold inside spreads,
and that odd expression
freezes on your face?
What happens then?
Is it the end? Finally free.
Or do I become we and fly
back to a bluer sky?
Not so heavy anymore.
Not so sure of the answers.
All the questions changed
in the blink of an eye
and a fixed gaze.
FELT IN A DREAM
I never knew this kind of love existed.
Or how badly I need it, more broken than
ever, but in a different way. Not broken
by hurt feelings, and hard times, and great losses.
Broken in the way that makes you forget
you’ve forgotten who you really are or that
this other love exists. Is existence.
Is this love something I’ve had but resisted?
Am I made of it too, not just you? And can
you tell me who I am? So much left unspoken.
I feel it only when a dream crisscrosses
life and death, this love I haven’t found here yet.
I’m looking in the wrong places, aren’t I? At
people and things, all tension and resistance,
when all I really need are waking dreams that
remind me life’s journeys aren’t about distance.
There are fewer of us now. We’re down by one. And I have less to say than expected.
I thought by now I’d be up and writing again. Then death came, stealing my brother when I wasn’t looking.
My words chased after them, but haven’t returned. I sit in darkness, waiting.
How do I find my place in this new world of fewer siblings? Do I count down from the top, skipping over one like hopscotch, chalk outline around a missing body?
We are fewer. I am less.
The months tiptoe by, not wanting to wake me. I wish they would stop and sit with me a while.
It’s all too fast, this life. I lie down and watch the clouds through dirty windows.
What can I say? We are fewer now. I am less.
THE DEAD DON’T SPEAK
The dead don’t speak to me in signs or dreams.
I long for them to let me know they’re there.
The living aren’t concerned. I’m caught between.
No place feels like home, and this despair
Grows greater every day. Why do I care
To keep alive these memories of the dead?
Perhaps I should try living well instead.
MY PLACE IN LINE
I took my place in line when just a child,
Convinced so young that I did not belong.
I’ve waited patiently, but all the while
I watch dismayed as others move along.
They seem to cut the line; some god beguiled
Allows their passage swiftly, while I wait.
Why such a line to pass through heaven’s gate?
THE DEAD KNOW BEST
Don’t lay me out in clothes I never wore,
No rosary-beaded hands stiffened in prayer.
Don’t paint my face; I won’t be Hades’ whore.
No need for show-and-tell; my ghost won’t care.
Don’t mourn if you’re relieved. Let less be more.
Do only what you need—ignore the rest.
No matter what you’ve heard, the dead know best.