A journal of narrative writing.
Making the Bed

Smoothing its red-flowered quilt,
all those stitched blocks, as one strews
long-stemmed grief on a grave. Except
I buried you not in this way, but as elephants
will bury their dead, shrouding them
with tree boughs. And as you lay
in the dusty savannah of the dying,
we gathered as a herd around your bed:
sister, daughters, your motherís ivory prayers
curving upward. The ice chips we slid
across the mirage of your mouth
were like water sprayed on the fallen,
and so we kept you cool, shielded you
from the hot overhead lights,
held you in our small, worried eyes.
Everything but the heart migrates:
years later elephants return and recognize
their dead, handle the bones as gently
as I do now, picking off loose threads,
tucking in sheets that I would not have flatten
no matter how hard I try, lowering to your grave
the great tusks of my love.

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