When the web of blood stopped,
having caught you in the act of stringing
your life out like Christmas lights
long after the holidays had passed
if & when & the whole thing whooshed past
like the last bit of strawberry soda curling its way
through the crazy-straw,
that prize I won from you at age six.
It’s the way I knew you’d gone and done it
with jangling flutter of cease-to-exist—
your trees creaking as if you were quickly
a thousand years into your next life.
You and I knew this pick-up-stix forest
now hunched, and whistled through—
still a refuge for butterflies and your grandchild,
your soulmate, as you liked to proclaim
particularly to those who never noticed
the beating wings in the trees of August.
This year I will haunt the route of the Monarchs,
wind my way down to Michoacan,
enjoy a basket of fried white fish so small—
you’d think they’d never existed at all.
Longing for the recompense due,
I’ll let you lead me on.