The tears for the dead
Only fall to fertilize
The flowers that spread.
When we learned of the old aunt’s repose,
mother dirt had already begun
opening under the hand of our shovels.
Pinched, kissed, embedded and gently patted
under a sifted blanket of rich earth itself,
she roots herself in the navel of our
gathering. A silence hums across the skin of
each one of us, and soon a motionless ritual
dance calls forth the salty-sweet warm rain.
By drip and by drop and by faucet we offer
our lacrimal agriculture – it’s not that some are
heartless, it’s simply nature.
And the flowers are like rabbits.
They emerge as a whirling tray of the
saddest fruit you could ever taste.
We all partake, whispering our thanks
so subtly even our own ears cannot hear.
One by one, then, we glide to the horizon,
clutching a bouquet as a kite.
We waft away from the morbid liturgy
without a wince or a spark, and our
undersense begins to eagerly stretch its wraithy
fingers for the communion we tote homeward.
Each one will be on display – soaking sun-
shine on the sill, decorating a wall,
coloring the evening table meals –
for some a day, for some a generation,
but will atrophy, eventually,
as dirt becomes one with the bones of the host.