Death and I have our shoulders shrugged, our birds sailing. When someone goes,
the ice forms a thin film atop the pond. When your father, when your mother, when
the moon. We grow old with these femoral clouds floating low-slung along the ridge.
Even the grass, the mud, the trees. Even ardent light bleeds. And if we have our alibis
of longing: vespers of early frost shining lonely in a field. And if we have this aperture
of memory: draught of wind, draught of years. Or say our hands, our lips, our eyesight.
Otherwise there is just this cooing of mourning doves and the boots we press
against the ice to make it fissure. Delicate as a sigh, half-unfinished. Even the snow
that fell overnight and gathered where the yellow grass peeks through. Here is the narrow
breath of the body. The horses by the fence, the juncos fat on the telephone wire. [End Page 124]
When the legs, when the chest, when the tongue. [End Page 125]