Death and Ashes

Death and Ashes

I think about you, when the lilac scent blows in from the graveyard,
when the crows hark sonnets in the midday, and grey, the sky is
emboldened with the heavy murk of storm not yet come, not yet alive;
when I think of you, the silence dies a little, white whale called Moby
you arise from the sea—you take me with raw seismic power.

You are a lighthouse; the bones of a beacon beckoning, a ghost
opening the moon, letting silver fester where orange glow should be
lying, and, I can not stop considering, how often you wept with me, how
comely you looked in the pale light, streaking through the crack
in the door, making me drowsy, eager for drugged rest.

Now I can not rest; I think about you and the house topples about me.
Cigar smoke and photographs hound me. Lifeless, the rubble
sprouts legs and walks, northwards towards Vancouver, taking the
roads and redwood remnants and the Puget Sound; it leaves nothing,
only whispers, that croon to me, with stubble and static.

Maybe the Pacific will one day sweep you. Maybe the dead things
that have piled will foam with body and resurrect you. I do not know
what are memories and what are dreams; inventions of your face
heap this desk, but I do not know what if any genius becomes them.
I know that your heart is a siren, ringing when a gunshot fires.

Hopes will one day free you from me. Hopes that my liver will decay, my
veins will bulge and grip; hopes that none of the former will come true.
Hopes that I will stop yearning for some ending and embrace what is now
metamorphosing from the stone that fell from my chest when you died.
Hopes for such scars to seize me, fold me, shape me cut me, into a tiger.
Hopes that I will take this molding box of shirts outside, and burn it.
Burn it all to ashes.

First published in Ampersand Lit, 2016.


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