August 16, 2012


by me 

Grief gongs
like the alarm clock going off
the morning after her death.  Presses its hand 
against your stomach when you realize  
you have woken up. It was not a dream. 
Grief tastes like morning mouth and whiskey, slick
grit across your teeth. Settles
its residue in your room, like dust:
90% comprised of dead skin.

Some mornings
you marvel at your own fat
fingers, their spring and coil, the blue
curving veins a map of a country you
knew once. Some days
your body starts running for no 
reason other than motion, shifting
muscle a joy newly discovered, and some
evenings your body forgets to be 
warm-blooded, wraps itself in exoskeleton 
instead of flesh, curling inward, 
like paper set to flames.

After she was found
hanging in her bedroom 
your body wept until every one 
of its bones rattled, and that night, when 
the white hipbone of the moon rose
above the distant hills, your body stilled
so it would not interrupt the unbounded

Grief lingers 
like dust motes in the air,
meets you at the door every morning 
and opens its arms. Your body falls into it
like a promise, and settles.

August 12, 2012

Ask Me

by William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.