It’s long afterward, but still
you want what doesn’t exist anymore—

and so you light a votive, set it
on a leaf to float across the lake’s

dirty surface. Every crack in the pavement
is part of a letter penned in script,

its fissures just wide enough to admit
a trail of insects walking toward the ghosts

of bodies trapped in a cavern below.
They drink from a trickle of rainwater

falling into the basin. They save
a thimbleful of pee for that time no one

speaks of— Please, don’t tell them it’s
over. When you shred a dandelion’s slight

corona in your hand, don’t mention the sound
of buildings collapsing. Don’t tell them

the morgue has run out of sheets, the funeral
parlors have run out of candles and coffins.


In response to Via Negativa: Childhood memory.

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