“If we can’t have everything what is the closest amount to everything we can have?”
~ Emily Berry, “The End”
We can have salt, perhaps. Trace
of linden flower in coil of slow
wind. Or is that the scent of some
new petroleum byproduct? We can have
torched cowhide. We can have dissolution
of karst, lime-colored scales, chalk
marks left by the last surge of tides.
As for lovers— we can say their names,
one for every bit of glass found, discarded,
underfoot: the amber-colored ones, so
difficult to forget. The end of a trail,
gloss of a milky sky divided by power
lines. Which tower can we climb tonight?
Don’t say anything that will give it
away. As for grief and death— we
can scratch the sign for door on sheets
of gypsum. We can trail our hands along
the ghost of a shore where whole
countries of whales once sang before
arriving on the beach then expiring.