St Albans Churchyard where they buried your sister

There is no crowd or witness murmur 

Only the bell tolls with each proud pelt

And hums as it eases

When you kick up some dead leaves 

And earthworms are scattered up with the mulch

Your hands with crags and stony dents 

Placing each thorny flower into its careful pose 

I don’t call your name 

I fondle my own hands— cold 

And Autumn berries saddle the leaves 

Of a tree with a cotton rabbit on its uncovered feet

The mound is the size of the headstone

I follow the flight of a ladybird 

On the search for a half-open door

Or a crow with bottle-caps in its beak 

Or a fox dragging limp feathers into its earthy home

A bundle of badger melding with the tarmac 

That will be bones tomorrow 

The sun leans into the cluttering roofs

Gathers up its caustic rays and streams 

The sober clouds are diffusing now

You come back, bending 

Under the tree’s archway

And I don’t call your name 

Something rattles, 

Like a stone in a can,

In the organs of your motorbike 

I warm my hands in the pockets of your jacket 

Some uncollared dog chases desperately after us 

There’s something written on the overhanging bridge

Graffiti so wet it rains down the brick 

A moment of apocalyptic message 

Then gone again 

Photo by Zach Lezniewicz on Unsplash

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