the great spirit
the whole of things
the grim reaper
the angel of death
the angel of mercy
the holy spirit
all that is
all that is good
all that i hold dear
the ground i walk on
the ocean of being
what’s in store
in the cards
what is written
the prophets say
it has been foretold
the nature of things
the forces of nature
those who came before
the cosmic dance
second-hand black cast iron pot
fancy grease-stained stainless steel kettle
pale rose silk pajamas
lace-trimmed sheer white silk dressing gown
unwieldy organic unbleached cotton kimono
scratchy bar of oatmeal soap
almond lavender liquid soap
sweet orange oil
dried up old husk of something unrecognizable
bit of bright green moss
flame-shaped hunk of moss
dried up old cherry tomato that rolled under the sideboard
tart green granny smith apple
fat thumbprint cherry tomato
wilting beet greens
fresh crisp spinach that jason picked on tuesday
sky framed by window
redwood framed by window
mountain framed by window
dawn in the bedroom
sunrise in the windows of the houses on the hill
sunset in the kittycorner kitchen windows
sunset over the mountain from the bay studio window
the full moon setting behind the tower on the mountain
james waking me to see it
james on the back porch photographing it in the middle of the night
his white shirt
long black hairs in the bathtub in the bed in my clothes
on a train to sacramento while he was on a plane to hawaii
each of on our way to a wedding
i found a piece of his hair
on my favorite black bloomers
and i tied it around my wrist
and wore it there
it scuffed the tiny hairs of my wrist and whispered
leopold the fat tabby maine coon yowler lover belly-hanging snuggler
oceana the tiny kernel in the bright halo of fluff, sharpest softest
green jadeite mug from grandma
round olivewood tea scoop from sara
great-grandma’s shearling hat
james’ grandmother’s quilt
the antique haircatcher that sat on mom’s dresser when i was small
mom’s big twig basket that a carload of deadheads drove for me from new work to california ten years ago when i couldn’t fit it in the moving box
and they delivered it
light-colored basket i found on the street
card catalog from the old main library
medicine cabinet i found on the street
sideboard that came with the house
and sleeping softly
he who is lost, and seeks to cause pain to match his own
he who is lost, and drowning
he who is lost and screaming
he who is lost.
the baby who was wanted, and did not stay
the baby who was asked to go
the baby who came, and stayed.
he who loves me
he who loves mother
he who is lost.
we who are lost.
we who are lost, and seeking
we who are lost and found
we who are found
we who are home, home, home: forever home.
she who struggled, and could not stay.
her mother, who wears her white hands.
her father, who weeps.
the young mother lion who found her.
all of us who lost her, and have her.
the man who she pushed away.
and who she pulled close.
my great grandmother, who called me by another name, and did not know me
my great grandmother who i remember only in her bed
the grandfather who let me ride in the prow of his boat and enjoy the sun.
the grandfather who i cannot recall having looked at me.
the men who move about, quietly, making things ok.
the redwood, oh the redwood, the redwood in the yard behind the house
the sunset, the sunrise, the bleak hazy sky of thanksgiving morning
you, asleep, forever nestled between your shoulderblades.
you, awake, my twin star.
you, awake and near
you, awake and far
in my grief, those who held me
who fed me
who sent the car to fetch me
who called to tell me she was gone
who found her
who sorted her things
who told the stories of her life
who told the stories of her death
she who told me exactly what i needed to hear
she who listened
she who told me what i did not want to hear,
and the grace that follows
she who took me to the beach, and walked with me there.
he who said nothing, only laid his hands on me.
he who said nothing, and did not ask to touch me.
the sky, who took me to her.
her cold dead hand. her cold dead hand. her cold dead hand.
she who is gone, and who lives forever.
the rose i lifted from her grave
the song i sent with her into it
the day i met her
the day she died
time; the illusion
love, the illusion
the truth of forever
the truth of union
the truth of now
and always, darling, you