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.