The horizon bends under the weight
of puddled rain and desolation.
Thousands of cars pass rotted cornstalks
and bone-white branches daily,
unaware they make a small arc
like a wrist gently waving goodbye.
On the kitchen table, tulips bend down,
cringe at their brown leaves. One by one,
petals plunge into the mahogany lake
like Narcissus, a soundless fall
where water does not ripple.
I look out the window, remember
how your jagged lifelines smoothed, fell
off the screen into the black nowhere
doctors cannot describe. A mountain quiets
the sunset – this silence is yours.
Rescuing a Memory
My mouth aches from holding stones
so long that my tongue has made them round.
With each syllable spoken, I spit
a gravel path you will not walk.
The rocks remind you of the creek
where nothing disturbed our lives.
You claimed its deepest pool was bottomless
pebbles never felt between your toes.
Since you refuse my hand, I will keep
these stones in my mouth, watch quietly
from the bank as you swim. If I went
into the water for you, I would drown.
©2004 by Jason Fraley