At my husband's funeral, I was the ghost, not him.
I couldn't find the grave;
it was a crowded place, with the living and the dead
and I was alone, except for
was not my friend, he was a rooster who didn't mind a mad hen.
Sometimes, high in the mountains,
a freeze comes,
or low under the vineyards
the Earth rolls with a nightmare--
either way, the birds leave.
Either way, something shears off inside itself, and this I
At my husband's funeral, I howled my throat raw,
as unthinkingly as if I had been born shrieking grief.
A heart moves blood stupidly,
like an ox pulling a cart over a cliff;
gee and haw until you're cross-eyed, the sky opens and turns dark
for the heaviest bird the same as the lightest.
When it was over, I kissed my non-friend the rooster
on the cheek.
I thanked him for not letting me be there alone.
Maybe being kissed by a screeching ghost scared him
into genuine gallantry,
or having missed his dinner weakened him,
but he only squeezed my hand and said, "Senora..." as softly as
a rose petal descending on
the lid of a coffin.
This poem is taken from a dream that woke me up.