They Say Loss Can Touch Another Loss

Mónica Gomery

It’s the bird of you in the south of me. Your wing making that long cut

into my cheek. All day we labored around her death, put our hands in it

rustled it around. The bed was not yet soil. The bruises not yet cold

along her arm where it had fallen. When it was done, my mother clipped a patch

of her white hair into an envelope. It softened her. The light was softened

in the telescope of death, arriving through the fingers of the trees. The air

was made into a language, scrawled onto the house. The house was imperfected

yellowed photographs, sleep yellowing the walls. The bird of you arriving then

reminding me to let a body go into the ground of autumn. The trees talking

and the temperature stretched its long arms, the animals were tentative. It’s the bird

of you, the sound of earth arriving into earth, soundless when her breath became

not breath, when her closed eyes closed again. Next day, my mother cupped her

dentures in the circle of her palm and we approached the question. We walked

and walked and sat, reviewed the list: vertebrae, loyalty, century; flour, pearl, regret

and plastic; hair dye, gravel, elegance. And you came to walk me with your wings

quiet so I almost didn’t feel you there, beard twilight blue, padding your trunk feet

clapping your crows nails across the grassy streets. Every time a chipped-together

time. Sometimes we have to lay a matriarch to rest. Death is weather bled by clocks

mother is a house of future burdens. Everything goes bright, then uninhabited. South

of me, where forests shed their light, and bird of you, freewheels beyond the light.


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