is a monument
to astonishment—to loss—to wives
I might have lived—children I might have
mothered—smothered in sulfurious flame—lost
to a god I was told to obey
a monument to what is
essential—unbearable—what tears
what preserves—perseveres
in the face of loss—the sea of it
what is extracted from the eye
the I—the heart—the heart of it
hard-hearted god—the hurt of it
extracted from the face—the facing of it
streams of loss—unbearable salt
dry me out—I want to stay
standing tall—stiff necked
preserved in memory
persevering in this desert
scene of salty regret—looking back