In lieu of church bells, traffic on the avenue.
Thunder from a storm already almost here.
On the corner, the man with the harmonica says,
Stick around, it’ll change; it always does.
Thunder’s the voice of the storm already almost here.
Hasn’t it relented, isn’t it seven years after your death?
Stick around; there are things that never seem to change.
I lay fruit on a plate, summon your spirit with soup in a cup—
Seven years after your death: what little I know hasn’t changed.
I hear someone ask: Does the wind have the smell of salt from the sea?
Alone, I arrange wheels of citrus and water the broth with tears—
In the end, has sacrifice mattered? what safeguards will keep?
Crush a handful of grass, and still you smell the salt from the sea.
How long can I breathe through various instruments,
that plaintive tune whose other name is sacrifice? Each note’s
the rattle of a hollow limb, the gash of church bells above the avenue.