Cemetery Craft

Sara London
| poetry


There is a sphere defined--
not by the city's finite fencing
that holds the dead in (as if
mixing the traffic on macadam
with the bone trust underfoot
would undo us both, bring
souls careening to life
and the living too close to
the ones we once were).
The old gravestones are part
of the day's angular grace,
the place a safe parcel of time
that a small gray bird who
hops here unties like a charade
artist, again and again pulling
invisible strings through grass,
to branch, and sky, opening up
the possible. Impossible to name,
this acre; the heart aches--
inheritance is its own infinite
argument, but these granite
partisans aren't pathetic
caring things, know nothing
of brevity or atrocity, or how
crumbling the one walking,
how laughably cyclical her
sorrow. Here stand blind
guardians of the fictional sphere
a dirt road passes through.
Here, the lime grass is crowded
with buzzing flurries,
and grainy shadows turn
granite flesh to the slow slap
of sun--so, for a while,
the sting of the past and future
is lost to acts of impartial light.

Sara London is the author of The Tyranny of Milk (Four Way Books). Her poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Poetry East, The Common, and elsewhere.

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