by Stephen Dobyns
Trying to remember you
is like carrying water
in my hands a long distance
across sand. Somewhere
people are waiting.
They have drunk nothing for days.
Your name was the food I lived on;
now my mouth is full of dirt and ash.
To say your name was to be surrounded
by feathers and silk; now, reaching out,
I touch glass and barbed wire.
Your name was the thread connecting my life;
now I am fragments on a tailor’s floor.
I was dancing when I
learned of your death; may
my feet be severed from my body.
From The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing, edited by Kevin Young.