When I left this place, this place took my ankles,
my body, wrested the baubles from their joints,
the trinkets, bricks and cinderblocks and swallowed
them like the middens of a once great house.
Thus far, the excavations are incomplete:
garlands, teacups, a few folding chairs.
When the roof caved in, the tables were set
for weddings or funerals, endings all
the same. Some rites go undisturbed, the squeal
of a door through which the sea floods out, or
a thousand pigeons flung from a mouth, or
panning through silt for the shell of a man,
who, for want of a love, flew off to a cloud
or a wintering bush or some such fancy.
Published in The 2River View 26.3, Spring 2022