Burial – A Poem and Image by Joshua Chris Bouchard

IceFloe Press

Burial


A path can always be drawn: I see it
beyond the fallen pine. A row of cedar

just above a broken knee of land. Winter

topples around me: a finger snap, moan,

binge-drinking moon. From a distance,
the hours arriving home approach detritus

and I’m laughing at the loss, pinching myself
in a dream. Chewed sinew of hinterland, crushed

ash of bone. You’ll be forgotten. The bruised shore
sips the lakes that keep it from thawing. This life

is one of them: memory, falling asleep alone
in a snow tunnel. Huddled to the wall, perfectly

warm. Shaded from cold, they saw I was missing—
gone, removed, malignant. That could be now

except for only familiar regret, the snap of tinder
and waiting: what if the snow buckled in? It takes

a step to make a footprint, a trail already laid.
The cardinals gawk at me, lean on sun-ridden

sky…

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