Tethered

Your ashes
Spread over
Weigh me down
My spirit
My soul
My being
To an anvil
Cast iron
Bolted fast
To a shadow
In a musty basement
Laid to waste
Years before
Tethering me closer
To the ground
You used to walk upon
Before you left
Behind
A mustard seed
And the mathematics of God

 

Noise

Noise is what separates
My soul
From sweet serenity
And its nectar that likely
Would never flow
In a continuous stream
Allowing me to stand
For long
After all
More likely akin
To a stuttering
Alien
Morse code
That sprinkles grace
From a backward-masked tongue
In every place
Just out of reach
From where I lay
Clutching deaf ears
In a shivering panic
That pierces
Even more deeply
Each time I realize
Again
That you aren’t
A part
Of this landscape
Anymore

For You

The raised hand
Your failed attempt to peel away
Your own skin
It was too tough
Calloused
Trapped in
You wouldn’t
You couldn’t let me in
The closest thing
To an open door
Left me jaw-dropped
My words scattered
On the floor
In a panic
An ill-informed attempt
At balance
I juggled my duties
My fears
My phone line therapies
In another room
So that you couldn’t see me
Weak
When all I should’ve been
Was in the room
Next to you

Behind

They slither in through
The cracks in the pavement
Unannounced and unhindered
Sometimes in sync
Other times out of sorts
Between
Before and after
The footfalls that
One in front of the other
Land on the
Still cold and wet ground
Where you left me
Behind

Their procession began
In the hours between
Your raised hand
And the last flickers
Of a mind that I didn’t
That I don’t
That I may never understand
From the labored breaths
Heralding the watch’s end
Onward into my nights’ darkness
And the shadow cast upon my days
Like the knocked-out wind
By a relentless flurry of blows
Again and again I am
Subjected to the tightening grip
Beneath the surface
Of all that I can’t leave
Behind

My Inheritance

A cardboard box

Your shroud

Grease-stained coveralls

Draped over a tool chest

As a funeral home tapestry

But in a garage

Where opened quarts of 10W-30

Stand in as floral arrangements

And the smell of gasoline

In accordance with burial customs

Reminds those in mourning

That while it is a holding room

You would’ve chosen

You are indeed

Already

Gone

Wheels

In that early morning hour

Of the only night

That winter chose to bite

The wheels left tracks

In a thin layer of snow

From the back door past

The reach of the porch light

Into the dark

Of little consequence

A business transaction

Complete

With an appointment made

For later

In the day

To seal the fate

Of the broken jar

The gurney carried

But that you

Left

Behind

It was the tracks

In the snow that continued on

In my mind

As I drove home

The singer sang

“Let Jesus lead you,

Let Jesus lead you,

Let Jesus lead you

All the way

All the way 
Lord

From earth to heaven

Let Jesus lead you

All the way”

In The Words of Emily Dickinson

The bustle in a house

The morning after death

Is solemnest of industries

Enacted upon earth, –


The sweeping up the heart

And putting love away

We shall not want to use again

Until eternity.