published in Impspired Literary Magazine
Sheltered in that front bedroom, where
issued forth your soft voices on early mornings
and stormness nights and the scent of you lingered
with the echoes of your voices to
“knock off the giggling, girls”
was the quilt I clutched as my first thing to claim.
Even though it no longer smells of you,
it mantles me for
fadely times when I don’t know where
to haven or to haunt. On the basement landing
I wrapped myself in coffee shot
with Southern Comfort peace
burnt neighborhood leaves
Old Spice, and machine grease in the pockets
and along the sleeves
of your jean jacket hanging
on the third hook. To ease my
achest brokenly heart
I wandered in the attic lost until I found
your boxes of cards and notes
written to each other
when your memories were buckets rather
than sieves and nothing
or dim or faded like the stars at dawn.
Regret is like existing as half
of an unclaimed person, unbuilt,
crumbling for lack of foundation.
The last of anything is always
torturous and so permanent.
I needed something to build
my grief upon. The coal room sacrificed
one brick for me.
During our Touching of everything
you ever owned
there was deep mourning and light against the dark
on Forrest Sweet where I searched
for a way to hear
the echoes of my oldful childly intellections
after the soakly turnest days
suddenly stilled your
eighty-eight years of hardest love in that house.
Are the ghosting traces
of you near enough to hear
my sighful lively whispers of
birthdays past, anniversaries won,
and summoned pieces
of my notions that I could ever carry
all I took in my mourning on Forrest Sweet
where I often go on Zillow
to see what I left behind.