We are ready for those who die in wires,
tolled at midnight with little bells.
A dead face is an injected wax
or unbelieved victim of murder.
What does she look like after twenty years,
asleep beneath those moonscape blankets?
Yes, I knew her. Long ago. She is dead?
Only dead again? And only now?
A remarked absence. Emotion vacancy.
Oh, a vague perhaps, perhaps. Regret
for the loss of intelligent laughter.
But the color of our first kiss is faded.
I know the color of my blood is blue.
See it through the crepe of my wrist.
I can’t imagine hers now gone red,
a blue jay turned to cardinal overnight,
then to crow, scribbled with white words,
living on again in description.
Death, an appendage of memory,
a wireworm on the body of a fish
within our grasp, releases its host
for us, to test our flesh with constriction.
We wrench ourselves to be free of it,
and when we are, think only of our pain.
All recollection is a form of lie.
Here, in this city block of wild sand,
the mounds in the front yard are old friends;
only the man I am may tend them.
They sleep beneath the scratching of my rake,
dance into gardens only in my sleep.
I wish her long life beneath the sun.
Perhaps she thinks of me now and then.