Earth I don't want to live with this feeling any longer than I have to But also, I don't want you to be gone So I talk about you all the time, including the last day that you were alive And I hang your pictures around the house For me to surprise myself with and cry
Everybody that used to know us seems concerned But if they knew that when you went through my mind I'm full of the love that illuminated our house for all those years And made this dancing child who tears through the days With a brilliance you would have deepened and sang along with But you're sleeping out in the yard now What am I saying? No one is sleeping
You don't even have a dead body anymore, it was taken away I went and wrote a check and got a cardboard box full of your ashes And a little plastic bag with your necklace And I drove back home, truly alone
I guess I didn't bury you deeply enough When I poured out your ashes beneath the three witch hazels That you planted in the yard a few years ago in a triangle for us Where me and the kid were rolling in the grass the other day And I saw actual chunks of your bones
Bleached and weathered, unerasable You're still out there in the spring upheaving Coming out of the ground into air Is that exact fragment, your finger that once caressed me not that long ago? I still can feel it And is that other shard a piece of your skull that once contained the wild brain that used to overflow with loving?
Undiscovered and gone And now just shrapnel remains Earth
Another place I poured your ashes out was on a chair on top of a mountain pointed at the sunset I went back there last week after a year has passed and noticed that the chunks of your bones that haven't been blown away Are indistinguishable from the other pieces of animal bones brought there by coyotes, vultures, and gods Against my will I felt a little bit of solace creeping in While I laid there on the moss Compost and memories There's nothing else
I can hear Wolves in the Throne Room singing "I will lay down my bones among the rocks and roots"
At night I sit and picture myself curled up beneath Ten feet of water at the bottom of the lake I imagine trout bumping against me in the low, diminished light Holding my breath, trying to be a boulder Eroding, to join you in re-mingling with the background Of churned muck coalescing in the dark But to get ground down to matter only Eternal and dumb Becoming not a thing Abdicating form