1. What of those who remain?
She stood by the cave mouth, weeping—No,
Ana is not one to weep. But her shoulders
curved the weight of grief she has carried
from before she knew she should grieve.
2. Ana calls it lightness
When the world lifts suddenly
from your head and you discover
all the ways you suppressed
and suspended happiness…
Is it only that he is gone
to the fathers of his people,
his body gone to mother earth?
Is it only the way he always looked
to the tree-sky when we talked
and my heart is an empty gourd?
3. How was I to answer?
To say, Rose gave me this tale and the end
was inevitable as the crumbling dirt at our feet?
She had always hoped her contained diamond
hope. Could I not have given her that diamond
just once, in the daylight?
4. Rose has no sympathy
I cannot give you what you want,
but only a whisper, a shadow beyond
the corner beyond the next corner.
You follow the breadcrumb trail
and find it peters out; you hold the thread
but stumble on the same stone
on the black cave floor. There is no
lightning gift of the gods, no comfort
in my flesh—what flesh? You dream
of soft caresses but wake cold-still
and forget everything I said.