Montrose Beach, Before the Funeral
After her husband dies she and I go
for a walk, in the bird sanctuary
leaving heft a while to wonder aloud
and praise the fat squirrels their chances
and the sparrows their play, thinking
I don’t understand, saying, I don’t know
what next. Never a baby, I guess.
I imagine things I worry I might see:
out, disrobed organs, a long dead friend
in a crowd, or what might sneak by: a full
grown sage thrasher, a dappled
shell remnant clasped in her feathers.
We walk along the shore talking chemo,
art, uterine horror stories, inviable nests and
fibrous growths—maybe the makings of teeth.
Every body is in disrepair.
Along the shore, a gander limps across
the still visible street. A gaggle waddles
in loose phalanx around a row of port-a-johns,
fills the disappearing field behind some
stranger as we wander our two bodies empty
of bodies. A friend and a widow on the shore.