when grief is the longest season of the year
rapture is a transient summer. in the fall
after you left, heat shoved the city
into its mouth & chewed for a while.
despite the ardors, i didn’t take off
my jacket, didn’t unbutton myself
for new lovers. i stayed here, raking
leaves — burnt sienna death certificates
scattered across the lawn – into pyres.
the cedar branches hunched over the house
like Tom Sawyer watching his own funeral
& i wondered if you wanted to be dead
like that, caught in the moment before
one decides to call something missing
or gone. i do not expect you to come back,
to wrap your corn silk silhouette in my sheets
again. the moon, now a feckless flashlight
hovering above where you used to lay.
& this is the part where i say i’ve lost
sleep – a half exorcised ghost. an almost burned
church – but on this litany of hot days
it is not surprising when dawn licks my closed eyes
with its orange tongue & my bed is a bed
& not a half dug grave, not a tombstone
etched with the first part of your name.
i know that happiness is a leap month
in the calendar of loss. temporary at best.
often, we forget & step into new houses
like we are ready for permanence.
we sit alone on warped porches,
our legs too eager to carry us away
from whatever ruin we once called home.