The day your mother died
we sat like young ghosts in Old Bennington Cemetery
to catch the sky as it fell,
gray flakes of ash and slate
souring our Summer skin and bruising our faces.
She would not lie here,
preferring winds above an open valley
and one last flight with paper wings,
but you could not think of anywhere else to go
where death didn’t feel like a cheap brass lantern
in a hall of brilliant chandeliers

so we packed up her only God
& a bottle of expensive wine –
one for absolution,
the other to eschew all sensible solutions
to such a stifling grief –
and you fluttered pages in a ragged Book
as if grappling blindly at the coattails of a swift guide
through a foreign land of fog and silence
as I fumbled with our paper cups,
so foolishly out of place against a granite sky

and we saw it then,
how love was just a glimmering gem
in the hand of a restless child,
tossed wide across a sea of sorrow
in a brazen flick of a nimble wrist.