I have taken to looking at photos of dead strangers
on friends’ Facebook pages. One woman ran
a marathon when her son died.
Your photos do not make me grieve
(What were you wearing
that last time I waved goodbye
in that red rearview mirror?)
I can cry for the marathoner’s son.
Your mother is carrying your ashes
around the world in a ziplock bag.
(Are ashes allowed in airline carry-ons?
Must they be checked in? What happens
if the bag is lost en route? Could she bear
losing you again?)
Maybe I’ll ask her for a handful. Maybe
(Can I ask for a handful of ashes?)
when grey dust lines my nail-beds,
when my palms crease with soot,
when I can feel you slipping
through my fingers, maybe I will know.
(First published in the Boiler Journal: http://theboilerjournal.wordpress.com/)
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