The Empty Track

for S. and S.

The swiftness of the casket sliding down.
The sound of the pause when it stops.
The sound of the shovel, slicing through dirt.
The sound of the dirt, thudding like boots
discarded at the end of a long day.
The sight of the casket, steadily obscured
by the relentless earth.
The sight of the grave as it fills unevenly
and softens the shouting
of the shovel’s repetitious rant.
The feeling of standing by
this grave, your grave
as it swallows you
contains you, abducts you,
hides you, subtracts you,
immediately, progressively,
until all you are,
are wispy memories.
And my body
as brittle as embers cooling
outside of your gaze.
Standing lonely, dumbly,
as if before doors
just shut,
watching your train as it lumbers
away, gathering speed
until the only evidence
of your thundering, plentiful life
is the empty track.


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