The centerpiece is a low hedge
of gourds and pinecones and holly.
Glasses are slicked with wine
and lipstick, plates half empty,

a fork dropped, chairs pushed away,
one fallen on its side,
fringed blue rug rucked in a heap,
the front door stands wide.

Our shoulders touch,
hands clench, grip an arm,
cover a mouth, hang confused,
unable to help,

faces all turned to follow
what cannot be undone
though for years
our fingers will scrape

at the hammered lid,
the closed eye,
our throats clog with words
as we try every language —

shout and whisper
into the long silence —
write — pray —
implore you to reply.

About the Poet:
A Pushcart nominee, J.I. Kleinberg is co-editor of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015). Her poetry has appeared recently in One, Diagram, PoemMemoirStory, Clover: A Literary Rag, The Precise Dimension of Light (Leaf Press, 2016) and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com and thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com.



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