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Lisa Zaran

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Are You Back From Your Grief Vacation Yet?

Are You Back From Your Grief Vacation Yet?

~Every angel's terrifying.
                                ~Rilke, Second Duino Elegy

All over, the scent of orange blossoms.
I walk along a dirt road strung with lost fruit.
I think of many things, the way the wind
tempts the trees. The sound of birds,
dragging their worry through the leaves
as they flit from limb to limb, their nests
full of hunger sitting among the branches.

Sometimes I can not bear the weight
of wondering how you are. If you're getting by.
How your job is affecting your aging bones.
If your liver has lost its posture yet.
When will one drink become one drink too many.
How you're handling the loss of your wife and daughter.
Not dead but gone, tired of competing with a bottle.

Beyond the orchard's frame, the sky turns
a tender shade of pink. There must be a path
somewhere between your heart and mine.
A way for me to reach you. I remember
how bright and quick you always were to smile.

What would I find now? Face soft as a crumpled
flower? Sorrow sweating out of every pore?
A rope of tears hanging by an invisible thread,
starting at the corner of one eye and stretching
into forever.

Stars like crystals begin to appear, dusk
blurs the horizon. I kick at a fallen orange.
Dig my hands into the warm pockets of my jeans.
In a moment it will be too dark to see where
I'm going. I turn around and head home.
I will probably always worry myself sick about you.
You will probably always drink to feel whole
or maybe to not feel how empty your life has become.

Every angel's terrifying, Robert. The strong ones,
the weak ones. All of them. They float hidden
behind stars. They do not step down to catch us
if we stumble. They hover patiently to take us
once we fall.

Copyright © Lisa Zaran