Tag Archives: loss

White elephant

I Having outlived our reciprocal usefulness, we mull the stubborn residue of the situation: the nostalgia of remembering, the impunity of forgetting, how the past may persuade the present, but not indefinitely; how time makes plain what romance adorns. The gifts we cherished have become white elephants; gold spun patiently into straw. II Choosing honesty, […]


Word from you aches like an old injury, a bone broken and healed but never again unassailable, ever sensitive to the plummeting pressure your proximity announces, the atmospheric disturbance of your many promises, breaking. Sheltered by time and space, I nonetheless roil at your slightest approach. An obstinate naivete persists, trusting as a newborn, set […]

Everything again

What if memory’s just the dead, flourishing differently from how they flourished alive? — Carl Phillips, Stop Shaking Twenty-five years later, calm as compline, hushed as heavy snow, wired to a dozen impassive monitors, she left. Or rather, what remained, the mortal wound inflicted long ago: the loss, the betrayal, the accident that changed everything. […]


I mistook your light for substance, though you burned out long ago, the celestial aspects of your small body subsumed by the dark gravity of one larger, and me forgetting how a dead star may nonetheless shine from an irretrievable past, a glory of extinction no astronomer could ignore, yet the core collapsing and collapsing […]

In the woods

Years later — years — I send the last letter by mail, securing the possibility it will get lost, that you will never read it, and then will I have written what I did? Suspecting all our words were no more than a tree falling and falling, and no one there to hear.     […]

Digging the hen’s grave

on a day when I can, though barely, my own mortality implicated, excavated, spading through hardpan, carving space for the body she still inhabits,  tail down, but head up. Eyes bright; a shimmer of hackle feathers she will not molt. Secretly, I invoke fox, bobcat, hawk: You may come now; she can no longer run. […]

Let our complaints

You haven’t long to love this world to claim the blood washing the awakening sky to feel the wren’s song swelling your open throat that later will clench to imagine the bewildered doe leaving her speckled child along the road where the car struck it. Now untangle the tortured skein of the life you’ve made […]


Pate is a head, pâte, a porcelain, pâté, an appetizer; the devil, they say, is in the di-ˈtāls. Or,ˈdē-tāls. How you complicated love, that single syllable, how your troubled tongue twisted and tortured its sweet consonance, could not speak, nor your ear, hear, the essential emphasis, where it must fall — must — if any […]

Family portrait

Of course there was love. And outside the frame, the unspoken grievance, the ambiguous harm, fissures forming, fault lines; the common geology of family. How quietly durable our domestic discord, how persistent beyond the curated image: One two-hundredth of a second, F-stop 5.6; the precise shutter speed and aperture to create evidence, make artifact, of […]


  Disaster Number 4498 requires a death certificate, cause clearly stated; an invoice, itemized, the date of our disaster — your demise — the cost of which can be deftly monetized in America, where any harm may be codified, indemnified in that coarse ledger, as if we should be, could be, compensated, reparated; our fragments […]