By The Pichola Lake, Summer 2019

No matter how many times you replay this scene,
the sky always burns in the end.

[Smoke: the sudden surrender of the sun.]
[Smoke: the palmistry of acquiescence on your lips.]

He leaves and leaves

[Smoke: desiccate and dissect.]

Those who have perfected the art of grieving
will burnish their loss with tears
till it is shiny and reflective. Something to sit in a collection.
But all you have is a
count of ashlines, and a talent to replay endings;
so you can make him leave as many times as it takes for
you to mistake regret for concession.
For not just that he has left.

You wanted him to(o)

You know it when you see the geese in flight—
light-like and various.
Every wing a placeholder for thanks.
Every thanks a feather you cough up when you make him leave.

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