thirty days after
the time for grieving ends
grief does not
so I unfurl what is no longer and smooth out the wrinkles
my soul loosens and leans in to the unwanted hereafter
the before murmurs just beyond my hearing
my heart skips in a dissonant rhythm
comfort strikes a truce with disquiet
enjoined by an absurd rule
I resign myself
to the taste of coffee
I sit in chosen exile and notice
movement in the leaves of mountain laurels while
tickle the back of my neck. Moisture
seeps into my jeans. Sour undertones like
waft up from strewn moss. Once-silent rocks
whisper to me. Crumpled memories
wedged so long between my lungs
squeeze each breath. I listen
to the stream as it trickles by. On stiller days
it refuses to greet me.
comforts me and a page from a buried memoir
unfolds inside my chest. I smooth the story against my thigh
again and again in a
mindless ritual, then rest it on the water
which washes it away. A crow
alights on a drowning log
and cleans pollen-dust
from its glossy wings before rising
he demands she
so she tries to describe
how the taste of a lemon
differs from that of a lime.
he turns away
tugging the high-tension line
that connects them
He insists the distinction
she dares not ask why.
with burning throat
and stinging eyes she tries
and a tincture of blue
distinguish the citrusy flavors.
appreciate that subtlety.
they both know
she will soon shrug
she’s not even sure she cares for them anyway.