Almost

A shovel and an axe
she says–one to kill and
one to bury. A flower,
a bow–one to shoot,
the other to remember
I forget, you protest:
a garden, a forest,
my heart, your dress?
Never mind all that
she says. We’ll wear
bearskins in summer
and go naked for all
dire occasions. Or we’ll
wear the latest shroud
you say. So there she says
take that, we’re dead and
laughing like always on
the wrong side of the joke.
You are thinking: now we
are sliding only half out
from under the stitching
over what tries to get out
to get in again until there’s
nothing to grab onto.
Metonymy you say. Hell
she says is all mirrors—
nothing is reflected
if everything is. It’s
the absence of things
we take as proof they
exist. Oh you say merely
call it a ghost and it
once lived almost still lives.
Yes like words she says like
love like illumination–
wherever it’s dark
it once was.

Afterwards Is

oct 2013 trip 02 crop grain rsz

maybe a room with a window, blue, hazy
maybe night or almost morning,
outside that place where everything is
that’s not in here
maybe waking from a dream or almost
remembering something—that’s the feeling,
someone’s going, someone’s gone
or just feeling that cascade of wrong
that dying is
then the stillness
a train stopped at a station
where no one ever arrives
lost things and lost creatures,
lost to you, not that you’ve done it
not that you could have undone it
afterwards, everything just seems patched
and wrinkled, not much sense in
smoothing out or getting your pens in a line