Heavy shovel fit for grave digging,
your gray eyes, the way you shuffled
about carefully like an older man.
You never visited Virginia, a place
I never feel stuck like I did back home,
a box filled with solitude,
boredom as the color blue.
Harsh winters where we fell
against our bones.
I dig the hole, throw lucky
stones in first. Then your body,
no heavy doubt, no ache.
Then petals, small white pieces
that will know you until
a delicate decay.
I break for black tea
before the final dirt.
Earth covers you, nature’s tarp,
the cloth on your body disappears,
your complacent face. You’ve already left us,
stranded birds in winter, our wings unable to lift.
Sarah Lilius is the author of four chapbooks including the two most recent, GIRL (dancing girl press, 2017), and Thirsty Bones (Blood Pudding Press, 2017). Some of her publication credits include the Denver Quarterly, Bluestem, Tinderbox, Luna Luna Magazine, Entropy, and Flapperhouse. Her website is sarahlilius.com.