July 08, 2014


My brother digs in the village of his wife,
he brushes the dust from artifacts, clutches pearls

he finds 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 catalogs the stratosphere of his finds

in the dwelling-rooms of the decedent:
a 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 glitter craft glue.

Hands gloved, he turns each item over
examining it for further evidence.
Before the expedition, 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

by texting from his location. I am states away.
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