He stopped counting the sheep in the Moorlands
or anticipate their idle run at the sound of tires,
thistle claws and the regular sound of flapping hoofs
no longer evening's light entourage.
The last time we went to the meadows,
he nodded and tucked between his blanket tassels
the flowers of violets, blue and purple
like scar crust from an obstinate wound,
like the color of his wedding suit against sixty-year old snow.
He used to tell stories, leafing through maps
open to places he'd never seen,
parallels a dream’s length away crossed
by the meridian of his fingers, knuckle-thick the heavy torsos
of trunks filled with postcards and anonymous picture scraps –
no old lovers to remind of a slouching heart
concealed at the start of a confession.
In the gutted sound of his whisper
every tender word came out a growl,
fleeting for not being loud enough,
an insistent reminder of a crow gagging over a chasm,
bricked up inside the howls of a stifled soul.
Grief, like pain inscrutable to attentiveness,
sticks to the soles of tongues, unuttered
and shy like twilight concealing what is terribly
beautiful in the gentleness of evening fragments
still in the breast’s clicking magnet.
Tired of the tyranny of insurrection
he took his feet to walk on the backs of acorns:
chewing on time is a dull way to be
in a world sobered of its oppressions,
insured against solace, the flatteries of tears
He ground his teeth, dragged his palm
closer to the glib saleswoman come finally to his rescue,
slouched over in a fit of tears
and read from a book of Chekhov
an epilogue to molded remains
in future tense.
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