I am a miner chipping at the earth;
see what coal I stumble upon.
Perhaps you watch as I hold
my pick and single beam,
my teeth white in the world’s abdomen.
Yes, I still believe you are not far away,
distinguishable as lladro light, talking
with others about the grave’s floor.
Dead, except there are the seasons all the time.
What happened—you going to sleep, your bed’s
frame at dawn, you never waking up—
was one thing, one thing
and now you sing the molecular blue,
watching electrons collide,
the vitreous sky in winter, the cold water
in clay. Your body breathes dew
and bark. Some days it’s lather in my hands,
my knees, my breast. I need your help
to clutch the hard quartz in streams. How I
can almost touch the earth’s spine. What you
know in your new life, I want to know in mine.