[Day 2: 300]

Five gray herons hanging suspended

An unmarked grave

Concrete, soaked and glistening

I saw bones on the ground. The bones were picked clean. I wrote it in a poem to you. 

September weather in July. 

A red truck rounding a curve. 

I stood, my back to the fireplace. 

She said, about the painting, “it’s costly.”

My impulse toward documentation.

I need you to know this is not for you. 

Exquisite pleasure of a passing cool breeze

Suspended on the air like a window without a wall

The town is gone, the city is gone, the family who lived there is gone.

We have changed our system of naming the streets, the villages. 

Addresses, phone numbers, street names.

What remains? A low stone wall. A faint memory.

A tether toward some unknowable thing. 

Yesterday, I walked the track again. The track was wet. The geese were out. A man in a brown cap, circling. I wished, for a moment, that you had come with me.

In the book of our names, someone is writing your name down. 

I went to the house on the corner. The white house is circled by orange lilies, their slender stems pulsing. I ascended its steep front steps. When I entered, a quiet descended. 

It is raining again. A black umbrella crosses my field of vision. I cannot see who is under it. 

Lines for the book I will never write

Instructions for the life I will never know

Orange lilies, then white, then pink. 

I descended the stairs and was again at the sea. Salt spray. The waves a muted violence.

A man threw his fishing line and shouted warning, but I was already turning away. 

Season of false starts. Season of unfinished gestures. October weather in July. 

I saw bones on the ground and thought of you. I wrote this instead.

*lines in italics from The Grave on the Wall, Brandon Shimoda