The hand that tries
keeping the other hand
with its watch that stops
ticking with any mention
of her husband just dead

from shaking so much

and the belch that she relishes
as she once did her breath
and the noise her nose made as she
smelled the scent left by him

for suggesting that her body
still goes about its business

and the hair she has kerchiefed
that he once had remarked
was as dark as the night
when viewed from the heavens

has grown so dismissive of light
would he know it to touch

and the throat she tries clearing
even though she can make out
the sound she let slip as she first
let him place his lips on her own

of this voice she’d rehearsed
for the endless line of mourners

and the legs she now crosses
before uncrossing yet again
as the words she once spoke to him
are shown up by the complaints of her bones

wondering not only how is it they will wake
but how is it they’ll know and be known by


Anemone, Indonesia, copyright 2005 Mary Pearson

Copyright 2012,  Mark DeCarteret

Mark DeCarteret’s work has appeared in the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation, Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader, New Pony: Collaborations & Responses, Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poets, and Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets which he also co-edited.

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