their small emotions
grating on sound, their vowels siphoning
history. —Or tomorrow reaching
its dusk sleeve. “Hello, Hi, Please,”
I once said, trying to open flesh with ghost-sounds
threading themselves through
infinity, the knot of past
voices choiring while I try to gobble
its babble in memory. One July we drank a glass
of water then set it down
in the god-heat of grass. Ants, gnats, and a stunned moth
remind the dumb math
of years, the tacit
hours and how the pronoun I keeps
fraying, digging like a mole through smells: sweat
on a watch band, a scarf, or sock
scouting a drawer. Some old cards the cat
pulls down. On a shirt the wrong
button you sewed now casually
chatting with some ashes I keep postponing to loose
in the wind of your fled
laughter, clear, jetting forth, syllabic, unrehearsed and taller
than any grief.