for Cynthia K. Harris
My brother digs in the village of his wife,
he brushes dust from artifacts, clutches pearls
he found lying around the site. Today he found
her rings; has spoken with the locals, a daughter
and a son. He tries to keep from fury,
they are young and this is their first dig.
He catalogues the stratosphere of his finds
in the dwelling-rooms of the decedent:
wardrobe of fine linens, scarves and jewels;
her library and sacred recipes. It is believed
she collected these stones for use in ritual.
Her sewing room is a vast assortment of
notions and textiles: curious pastels,
funky buttons and glittered craft-glue.
Hands gloved, he turns each item over
examining it for further evidence. Before the
expedition began he slept on her side of the bed
with her robe, a shroud, scented by her still.
He searches for proof of her. This is her paperclip.
Here is a picture of her in the army, her diamond ring.
It’s as if she only just sat here in this leather chair
and sipped from this chipped ceramic cup. He tells
me this by texting from his location. I am states away
and I do not say that she is a matter of record now
an artifact more distant and less comprehensible
than the light arriving from a dying star.
This poem first appeared in July 2013, in Spaces Lit Mag
|Cyn & Jim|