The dead bird, color of a bruise,
and smaller than an eye
is king among omens.
Who can blame the ants for feasting?
Let him cast the first crumb.
We once tended the oracles.
Now we rely on a photograph
a hand we never saw
A man draws a chalk outline
first in his mind
then around the body
of another man.
He does this without thinking.
What can I do about the white room I left
behind? What can I do about the great stones
I walk among now? What can I do
Even a small cut can sing all day.
There are entire nights
I would take back.
Nostalgia is a thin moon,
into a sky like cold,
you were a drowned man, crown
of phosphorescent, seaweed in your hair,
water in your shoes. I woke up desperate
In another dream, I was a field
and you combed through me
searching for something
you only thought you had lost.
What have we left at the altar of sorrow?
What blessed thing will we leave tomorrow?
Copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Llompart. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.