Poem for My Dead
for Hyacinth Eutrice Mejias Callender (August 16, 1917-April 14, 2012)
Our dead take with them
the tongues of the living.
My mouth gapes with how
I should say I loved you
but words are awkward, ill-fitting.
You loved your wounds deep into me
but I didn’t mind the bruises much.
I learned to treasure the wrong words
simply because they were yours, beloved.
I know now what passes from woman to woman
isn’t love. Isn’t like an embrace or a kiss.
Isn’t tenderness. What I mean to say is:
If you are now myth, I too will be myth.
If you are now dust, I too will be dust.
If you once loved me, I too can die
knowing the grace of love’s hidden mercies.