my mother lie?
Underneath an autumn
frosted Florida spring
like the ring
There, in its round
and shine, I imagine
our hands holding.
But look—here, just
mine, and they lie
palm up, blue
two empty fields,
with José Cabral and Marie Etienne
The Biblical is inescapable.
Call God down, it says.
But the clotted heart clamps the mouth.
Cries shunted knot the throat cords.
In the end, my mother also had no speech.
The blood pooled where nerves should have
opened channels for swallowing; the saliva
dripped like false dew into limp alveoli.
The breath, it says—borrowed—
always gets taken back. Left
in my own airless chasm columned
by books, what kaddish mimicry can fill
the terrible burden of continuance? I take
from the French: there are no real remedies…
from the Portuguese: the ground fits like a glove…
and from the Grief:…
inchoate. Nobody lies in the earth and even
to speak of it is not enough