A father’s ashes in a blue box on the vanity. Bits of the last heartbreak handwritten on a window. A garden gone reckless for the winter. My secrets are not kept in the usual places.
Before the beautiful assistant climbs into the box, I leave, afraid he will forget the rest.
Persephone Buried, she lost sight of the surface and forgot the horizon. After a time, she stopped standing in the narrow tunnels, hoping for a cusp of light. She took her lovers without the promise of morning. Dark and full of fleeting want, she plucked them only for memory and let them fade, and when …
He asks for a secret. I tell him there is a quiet scar on my left forearm from an iron I shouldn’t have touched and a small freckle on my bottom lip that I drag beneath my teeth whenever I worry.
Beautiful Cassandra, I’m going to ask you not to look at the myth— no matter how they tell it, it doesn’t end well for you. Mute prophecy a moment. The history of birdsong is also yours. Remember, it was a heron, not a god, that made sense of chaos. Let its cadence sway you now …
Mourning I went out into the mud and rain to watch stalled horses, nervous and full of heat, neigh and kick at thunder until the storm passed, and the ghost was given.
Sometimes I pretend there was moonlight, ample. That your body was lit bright. That my eyes closed with no other choice. On other nights, I remember that it was dark. That there were no streetlights. That the stars, smothered by the clouds, could not see us, and all we had was touch.
The strange light of winter spoke in a dialect of dark— extended vowels that rambled on like a highway in New Mexico— threatening to keep the flowers.
Skin lurid and out of sequence, seldom do these intervals lift the dawn close enough that I don’t need to squint, but this morning I am wide-eyed and there is a quality of light, gypsy and unfolding. I wait for it to find your body, mute.
The shells I collected last summer kept their promise; the wind has waited all these months. I listen. Smile and hue return.