It was a brook, had names
though these bottom stones
are still draining, passing you by

before letting go the silence
that stays after each hand opens
—you dead are always reaching out

—end over end unfolding your arms
the way each star ends its life alone
in the darkness it needs to move closer

become the light in every stone
as the morning that never turns back
keeps falling without any mourners.


It’s grass growing on the mirror
and every Spring more smoke
blacking your teeth—the dress

looks like hers, tossed off
piece by favorite piece and death
not yet shoulders and hips

—without a fuss she is touching you
though you are moving closer
as the lips that wait inside

and smoldering—it’s half a mirror
hardly enough for its kisses to fall out
look at each other and the afternoons.


You lace one shoe with thread, the other
as if this wooden spool could be held
spin end over end and hold you

by the hand, let you feel her body
no longer moving as the careless tug
in all directions at once—you learn

to limp, to hear dirt struggle
and the step by step as if it could escape
not yet leaching in your hands.


You gargle the way each morning
trusts the soft rustle from a dress
becoming dirt, set out on foot

looking for her in shadows
that no longer move though the sink
is covered with something weak

making believe it’s learned where
your fingers are holding the bottle
in a place not even it will remember

how empty your mouth is, lost
day after day spitting into the Earth
that still opens when you whisper to it.


You water her grave with words
—they never dried, were written
at night, sure this stone

would rot inside the note
though you don’t fold your arms
—what spills has eddies, swells

shorelines reaching into the Earth
no longer certain—this stone
doesn’t recognize itself

is growing roots, sags
becomes a sea, the bottom
holds on, unable to stand

or come closer, cover her
without seeing your fingers
or what it’s like.