SPIRITS

March rocks us in its hammock
of purple sky.  Snow retreats. 
Thunder has not yet cleared its throat
and found a voice.  Silence scours
the tin kettle of earth.

At my desk now, I think of my friend
who has vanished from the earth.
All morning I have been reaching for her with
this noun, that verb, but even the most delicate
sentence blunders against her absence
and comes unraveled.  What are words, but
vapor?   If I could eat with her–
a peach, some bread, a bit of cheese,
I would ask her what she’s learned.

Driving at night, you cannot hear
the swell of traffic traveling
in the other direction,
but you can see headlights
scribbling out a journey.
And you wish them well.

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