C 49

You can’t tell from these clouds
why this afternoon was set on fire
is burning through some lullaby
 
you’re singing to yourself
by gathering a few leaves, some twigs
for the gentleness falling out your mouth
 
—you dead know how it is, each hush
must be buried on the way back
with lips that bleed when rinsed in rainwater
 
leaving a sky that no longer takes root
is drifting into its hiding place
and each night listens for the word after word
 
returning as the small stones around you
that warm your hands, that listen the way smoke
reaches out from ashes and step by step. 
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