Epitaph

Written by: Ashley Poort

Where can I go to bury love?
To the cemetery at dusk when the mist softens
Further the already worn corners of granite markers?
“Beloved Father and Friend”
“Cherished Wife”
Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter—
What will my epitaph read?
Here lie the ashes of a life remade
Time and time again.
No epithet or adjective,
For ephemeral forms like the scent of lilies,
Clinging to each form and shape, permeating the air;
I can be whatever the sun makes of me:
Rain, fog, snowflake kaleidoscope.
But enough—
Through the weeds and the overgrown plots
To the mausoleum where all the old loves lie.
Each crypt contains the remains of
Laughter and tears, midnight words and sunrise fears.
The memories of meetings between hands, eyes, lips—
And they make prayers as ghostly pilgrims do!
Tomb of cherished and forgotten things,
that I could not keep within the confines of this heart.
And here I lay to rest
The brush of your lips on my forehead,
The swell of your chest under the blankets in the dark,
The small furry warmth on my breast of your smile.
Someday, Friend, my bones will lie here too,
And all of the feverish hope and love will awaken,
Be reabsorbed and make me new.
But until then, there are miles to travel,
So many other crypts for loves to come.
Until then, pearl of my soul,
Adieu!
Wait for me in this storehouse of treasured things,
Do not mind the dust and the corpses
They were once treasure too.
Until I return to lay down what I have gained
And become one with what I have lost,
Here lie the ashes of a love remade
Until the fire scorched what it lit.
No epithet, no adjective,
Rest in peace until we meet again.