Till the Day

Fountains spout in rain, splatter
in wind. If we had been

lovers, a bitterness would have prevailed
the way it has for all these others.

Might have been threats
left on answering machines:

“If you ever darken
my doorstep again.” Cruel

confessions: “I could see living in the City
but not with you.”

“She laughs more.”
“I don’t love you anymore.”

“I never loved you.”

“This is my O Lucky Man!
This is good-bye.”

Nothing can dismantle the purity
of a death that saves us.

Burnt Green

Most—but not all—of the stain
gets removed. A return to wrinkle free
breaths, the smell of snow melt

over concrete, rosewater spilled
on a quilt, the color red buffed
without a hint of orange. It’s not

just about ashes—to strive
for purity even now is worth the energy
it takes to dispute or hang

in willing suspension.
And sometimes we just bounce.