How does the breath know it
is not water, or some other
element to rename the senses?
How do you plant and minister
the love of dawn into the ground?
How do you carve a coin from wood
or turn your tea into coffee, make
a fossil from a flesh-covered bone?
In the days of the dead mare the river
was darned with weeds. From the eyes
of an old woman, I saw the milkyway in a stone
and grew to love the quietude of the woods.
Born and then lost to all vows. Eighty-five years
of seeking salvation in clay and from
all the little stories told by like-minded friends.
Then it is an impersonal room, poetry laced with paranoia,
and your limb hacked off at the thigh.
Then it is those who love you praying
for a quick delivery onto death, and those who
know you, holding your hand and telling you
thank-you for our time, for those Sunday phone calls,
telling you how deeply it hurts
to say this last goodbye.