what we know we are


what we know we are
the gaped-mouthed body
is us

and the breath we know
is rising and falling in the still chest
is our breath

unknown in this moment
of stopped time except through you
who no longer live in time

who no longer live in space
who no longer live
who no longer live

except in us
except through us
except as us

and the whole world breathing
not known except
this still evening in our breathing

through our breathing
as our breathing
in our weeping

grief’s not a missing
of what is not
the trees barely waving

in the day’s last light
are you waving
are us waving

are us grieving in waves
of you moving through us
of you moving in us

of you moving as us
as our gaped-mouthed
body breathing
the world


we know the third day
the cardinal’s aria rises
over the garbage truck chorus

his huge hug no longer threatens
to pop his dear just-big friend’s
pacemaker out

he no longer from irascible heights
condescends airily to the aide who is changing him
“you know that’s not free”


we know the fourth day
marks a return from the passion
that rends time

the street is empty
a brilliant bitterness
pricks the ordinary

solitude of the late night
we feel his wit slipping
between our ribs


we know the fifth day
the mother hugs the child crying out delight
after the rain

time stopped
between the gaping body
and the rending breath

the heart popped
by the stiletto voice
it’s all free