If I was asked how I felt when I watched
you in death, I would explain the stone
pit in my throat, the hard swallow
in the air of your not breathing. When I found you,
I gathered the sheet from the closet
to cover your body —how still
you looked, how asleep—but it was not enough.
You already know this, I imagine,
how little I could manage—the flowered sheet,
and after, how I sat on the porch in the August dark
as our father placed the sheet beside the back door.
How he passed through
grief in a way that I could not, my own
body vanishing into the field of the night.
Amanda Auchter is the Founding Editor of Pebble Lake Review and the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2012 Perugia Press Book Award and the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry, and The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches creative writing at Lone Star College.