Hydrologic by Eric Morris-Pusey

Grandfather snaps photos with his Nikon D5500.

Everyone hasn’t been together like this since the last funeral.

The camera is heavy and black as Jimmy’s coffin lid,

and when I watch Grandfather change its lens

 

it is not unlike seeing him load a pistol.

Droplets hang on the points of umbrellas

like ripe fruit aching to fall,

to swell the rivulets and puddles that keep soil soft

 

for the gravediggers. Where will I meet the next person

I love? Perhaps beneath a streetlamp a winter or two from now,

each falling snowflake burning as it catches the light.

And where will we be parted? I’d catch one of the specks

 

in my tiny hand, hold it to my lips, and ask, but surely

my breath would kill it. The stars will hide

behind clouds and the halo cast by the town’s lights, offering

no answers. When someone catches me and lays me

 

in the spread of earth the rain has softened for me,

the rivers that stream and steam down that someone’s face

will feed towering oaks and fill the deepest oceans

in worlds our eyes will never dream of seeing.

 

Originally Published in the January/February 2016 Issue.

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