Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ground State

My family plot is laid around the grave of my grandfather
except none of us is buried there yet.

My brother smokes a Marlboro and flicks his ash away
from the marker.
The smoke makes my lungs hitch up a little but I never cried
for him.

Bird call, traffic, tractors,
a little but of noise draws small circle around us.

The gray sky closes in the world, makes it finite.
Open sky
is depressing especially in the cold as it reminds us
that everything goes on and on into further cold.

Absolute zero is when all molecules stop moving
even the coming apart of cigarette ash stops its crumbling

Somehow the small sound of a gray sky prevents me
from feeling sad
that another one of us will go off soon,
erasing from the picture.

We do not discuss the fact that
my brother will never have children.

The sound would cause the ground to move
as my grandfather rolls, shifting markers

where headstones are not permitted. Only flags
for appropriate holidays

on the specter of future graves, each of us
a chorus standing in line, waiting to thaw from the future.

The numbers called, if your prefer,
loosening the solid gray, weight the back carries,

No one is left behind to put the players
on their marks. The sounds come down to zero. Stop moving.

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