Dead Things.

I do not know how to let things die;

hand, a curved cup around limp

leaves, wilted plant against fingers gently

moulding moist soil into a bed for dis-

integrating roots:

here is warmth,

here is comfort,

here is a shelter in the storm—

do not mind my battered body,

do not touch my bleeding fingers,

rest easy in the shade of my grief

(it will not touch you,

even my tears do not touch my cheeks);


You are a dead thing I have only recently

learned to leave buried.

You, a voice in the cool of the afternoon;

You, the burning hand of a Guyana sun,

sweat curling beneath breast under the

weight of school uniform,

shoulders pressed together beneath the

open shadow of concrete corridors;


Do I bury you, always, with the bitterness

of my grief?

Do I bury you, only, with the bitterness of

this loss?


I think only of you as you ought to be



bat twisting on a dried field

crack of ball against bat’s breast


I remember you only, as you were:


What were you?


The iron band around my throat

I hold in reminder that I should

leave you rotting?

The rush of happy breath held

in the soft, and tender, curve of

your hand holding mine?


Garden-nurse, and necromancer,

let go your crafts. Ask only

for ash, of the burial ground.

Not sour, stained bones.

Not rotting flesh.

Not a skull to hold tears.



K.N.O.W. April 1, 2019. Monday. NaPoWriMo Day 1.

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