Where Love Is Ground to Wheat

for Maria Jesus Martinez

You were laid among lilies,

                 the thin skin of
                 the leaf, the interval, oak

                             pews bowing beneath the weight.

                 If a stone were cast, your mouth
                 would be the well anchoring the water's

                 wish. And the word you would speak
                 in that incommensurable depth

                             could unlock space with a paper key.

                             Beside the casket, I collect my tears
                             before they fall so I may look at you,

                 so the white down of children may fill the empty beaches again,
                 so the bees may store the honey

                             where mercy prepares the map
                             of the forgiven within us.

                                         We are too many skies,
                                         we who cling to the visible,

                             & the bread of my routines,

                                         now absent of you,
                                         are abundant with you.

From Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by J. Michael Martinez. Used with the permission of the author.