Every night we are given a new
number: as the season turns 

toward winter and the dark falls
earlier, it's as if the sky's 

chalkboard is smudged over and over
by a hand that can't keep up, can't

ever get the sums right. Almost a year,
and still it's hard to understand how  

all this dying could be real— if not
for the absent place at the table,

the memorials, the box of ashes
returned in a sanitized box; 

the way the wind sweeps the streets 
as if bent on emptying every last space.


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