Friday
Dec202013

With Nothing to Bury

Maria Isabelle Carlos



The name is last to go: a name
my brother had given – too soon –
to that echo of a body, bruise on a sonogram.
In the pearly edges of the “first photo,”

he’d already written, too soon,
an expected month for the promised son.
One pearly edge of the photo said
December. Cold, leafless.  Such lean yellow light.

But the expected date for the promised son
ghosted in the air like a bitter exhale
in December – calm, leafless.  Such lean yellow light.
This isn’t the first time:

ghosted in the air like a bitter exhale
was the promised son’s near-older brother.
This isn’t our first time uncertain
how to mourn a windworn name –

the promised son’s near-older brother,
and now this, another.  Left only to figure
how to mourn a windworn name,
the smudge of his half-moon heart,

another gone:  what to do now, given only
the echo of his body, its bruise on a sonogram,
the smudge of his half-moon heart,
and a name that will never let us go?