I look for you the way I always have.
Listen to your voice
sing incantations of my youth,
eager to hear news of your religion
in the cadence mucked in the back of throat.
They lost you in the backyard.
Misplaced your skull,
body deteriorated into earth.
I miss the way you wrap around me.
A feeling thick as a childhood home,
a place where awkward flows a little more free
and body moves in familiarity.
You spoke of it.
I’ve given up on a search for home.
I focus on climbing your tree.
Washing the smell of your cigarettes from my pillows.
Stretching upwards in long clean arcs
hoping you will feel the tops of my out-stretched fingers.
The imprint of you:
a hollow through the center of me,
only cured by the scent of you in my kitchen,
and the radiation of your body as it sits
three feet from mine.
I search for your bones in my garden,
mud caked and brittle,
hopeful there may be a piece of you there:
a shard I can wear on a string
proudly around my neck,
your souvenir on my chest,
and when people ask,
I’ll say it reminds me of home.
“Home” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).