Dead Letters

Every December I carefully address cards to my extended geography, 

scribe canned sentiments trying to recall faces,

discern whether familial patronymics are appropriate and realize

I can't remember names, new children,

wonder if I'll ever meet them or if I care to,

if this ritual still invokes the belonging I require

knowing persons missed most are already gone,

if I'll ever understand a winter draped in fresh solitude,

if I will be remembered for nothing

more than a clever, areligious greeting,

a careless postcard in a distant box that whispers

happy holidays, I'm sorry for your loss.

Like Stones

Sometimes when it's dark and the quiet rises like a solemn ghost,
I hear my heart thudding past the whisper of my breath, feel my ovaries like stones,
weighing my belly with useless potential, and if I cross-examine the moment,
brush too close to the seat of my anxiety, my lungs swell against my ribs.
I hold the wail in my throat until it burns. Exhale grief and dead calm. I want
to reach across the bed, traverse the yawning gulf between us, grasp the bones
of your hand and lay it over my breast, say, listen, it's not beating, it's ticking.