Five Poems

From each funeral some dampness
rushing in and hulls half wood
half already end over end
still remember a place being close by
–it has to do with looking up
though her name can’t be changed
and this gravestone stays soft
the way shorelines forget
where to come back for water
trembling just below the surface
–you call for furniture, dishes
rinsed in flowers once scented
with sunlight, used to this dirt
to company and every shadow now
something that never happens.

For a long time the stairwell
uproots the way a sudden gust
is led between this floor
and the floor above, empty
worn out –it grows a mist
hovers from hand to hand
as if you are holding a cup
wet from mountainside
though she is not asleep
and your armfuls drift
pour hot coffee across the wall
the sheet, the distances
–from where you sit this bed
is in bloom, is touching your lips
as branches now that it’s over.

Over the same spot these sleeves
clinging to grass as if a jacket
would scare off whatever flies
could reach around and your shoulders
that no longer take leather for granted
fall back though the zipper
is used to rain, rain then no rain
runs through fields not yet planted
or attacked or along some tree-lined lane
its harvest changing into those stones
mourners startle the dead with
step by step –from every direction
a safe place disguised as water
hiding inside your mouth, your arms
and nothing else to lay your head on.

It’s a rickety table, not sure
where the bend in the river
brushes against weeds and mud
–this watering can’t last
has already broken apart
the way every tree is carved
by those endless seas
her initials are used to
as kisses and your mouth
–wood can’t save you now
though everything you wet
is circling the Earth for her
–you will die from thirst
one after the other, counted
without the summer you needed.

One sun stays calm, led off
by footsteps not yet mornings
though you make a fist, learn
not to look down the way rivers
float behind as one more caress
to shape the endless goodbye
with stone, broken, emptied
smoothed between the dead
and tiny holes bursting into flames
–you reach for its shadow
already rippling over the pieces
used to losing bit by bit
stones that are not these stones
not that sun, smaller and smaller
or under your feet some other.