Moon & Pillow
say this is yesterday, and I’ve
pasted you back together
with salt. I mixed you with straw
& carried you into the desert to dry. My adobe
my red earth, my paper doll,
I forgot that the rock I propped
you up against
was made of tombstone,
so I searched beneath your eyelids
for an explanation of color. I built
highways & colonies across
the meadows of sleep.
I followed you into the temple of absence
to learn how to die.
Don’t you know
how hard it is to keep you
Have some compassion.
It’s like a swamp in this desert.
The caskets are at sea level
and always rising. See—
there you go, floating by, mouth full of
music and death.
I guess this means they finally told you:
You are the corpse in this off-key song.
And my words are a pilgrimage
bearing gifts. I brought you flowers.
Is it too late? Are you hungry?
I’m planting a casserole
in the grass.
Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and other books. Her works have received numerous awards, including the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her first poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, is forthcoming fall 2014. She is the host of Tiferet Talk radio. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com.