Louise, when the black cube
Dropped beneath the earth
I noticed the grass rustling
And I ran full speed
To catch the wind as it floated out of reach.
The odd girl,
I searched between the curtain folds of the picture window
Framing the empty two-lane road
And beneath the looming rhododendron
With its sticky flowers we used to pluck as children
Before descending into crawlspaces stained with ancient iodine
And felt the cool air rise with promise of ancient queens
As we pressed our mouths to stone.
I went back.
After the grass dried and surrendered to ice
Three inches thick
And slid my right foot against the left
And my left foot against the right
As tears formed the salt of regret:
They said you were unrecognizable,
But I was a child.
I should have realized,
Like when I asked you about children
And you said: I can't.
The oakwood lining the N-16
Have survived another winter.
The lake is healthy,
Vegetables flourish in the garden,
Although the road today is paved
And the laundry line is missing -
She took it down.
Apparently she knew your father,
And offered, as she pushed her pen
Across State Farm letterhead,
"Such a tragedy,"
Two years after he was killed,
And Margot went to assisted living,
But I guess you knew that.
A person I had loved deeply
Told me I didn't mean anything.
I looked out the window,
And watched a coyote the color of lilac
Dart across beams of neon light
And felt you walking away.
Perhaps you went home,
To see the locust in the glass of the sound,
Or to the field to carry the the wind in your arms,
Or to kneel down and smell the heavy scent of orange zinnias,
Like you used to
In the thickness of August
When I think of Home,
I think of you
Were you carrying the wind?