After She Died
He sharpens a pencil at the kitchen table
every evening after a bowl of soup.
His thick rectangular fingers
fumble with the pocket knife.
Each letter he writes leads to a word,
each word to an image of his wife.
He sees her stretched across the page,
slowly climbing the powder-blue lines.
Looking closer, he sees a dark streak behind her,
a trail of dirt, and he tries to think of her as a pumpkinseed
pushed into soil. He writes it all down. The same words, every
after dinner. She climbs further up the page,
close enough for him to almost hear her voice.
She keeps climbing. She is a pumpkin vine
and he is the tilled soil.
The yellow flowers with long, thick pistils become her hair.
He becomes the insects that live outside the flower's smell.
Vastness of soil and smell of hair.
He stops writing to sharpen his pencil.