how to drink loss

Home is the place I can think from— carapace of dust
from milling crowd outside the window.

The street lights go off one after another, the ring of mist
diffuses like the dispersal of a cloud of bees.

I sit in this tight circle eying how far others throw their nets:
some come back to stuff dirt of the earth in their mouths,

most uprooted listen to the tree fall in the distant forest
in a soft thud of grief as they hold their warm mug of coffee

and look out at the snow-covered driveway. How do I hold
her in tenderness— one way of tending a life is to stand in a queue

at the shop as beans get roasted. It takes time to prepare
a tumbler of frothy coffee— a lifetime if it is the final gulp.

You in your chair overlooking the deck and I in my terrace where
the hibiscus shrub is eaten by mealybugs, hold the cup of absence.



The Journey

You ask, can music do that – curl the tongue around the stitch of ache –
when the note touches the ceiling of the hospital room as you take
your walk and the night sky rotting green burns at edges with city lights.

You wear black, rest like fractured old wood on the migraine flare
that flames your body. I gather your feet to trace the rings of age, sluices
of calcium whorled in volcanic blooms. I cannot peel away your dreams:

they march one after another down the jungle path to snake across my feet.
You and I pack grief in Samsonite, as I haul the suitcase into the car
I cannot say what weighs more – all that you carry or that you leave behind.

3.20 p.m

the sun on the palm frond breathes
salt and the breeze sets inland

the water sweeps in linen tides
waves dither in a band of silver, the cursive script
scrolls end of the day

the grey of her eyes
washes thousand morning glory flowers
faces pressed on dark silt, their pollen

star her iris,
gravelly in shots of goldthread the sand rises
in the silk he holds against her skin