He knew well the tall grass blades
by her grave. Heavy and omnipresent
she lay where the river trickles near the glint
of December light, sleeping bone
too brittle for his hungry lips.
Beside him always, pinned to knuckles
held fast in a fist, a suffocating silence
coiled ashore with stones corroded,
wings missing from the angel’s flight,
and pitted churn of the hissing nether ground.
Often, what might be there then wasn’t,
making it hard to catch hold of balance
as madness tore his speech to tatters,
and remedy resolved to die.
Still, he fed on this famished grief,
looking not for healing nymphs
with wistful music made, nor quick annihilation
to ease his mortal waste.
Ten years had come and gone, spring buds
supplied birds of feeds, secrets born through
the primrose shade, gaping mouth of heavens
spread sunshine plumping the earth,
yet he shunned mercy and resumed vigil on the knoll.
The one who waited, the one who went nowhere,
forgave the one who left.
He held out his arthritic hands once again
over the old hollow grave and whispered,
as if to a lover who was breathing still,
My love, I, a dead man who no longer cries,
will love you with his waking eyes,
on the road ahead of him, alone.