Finding Out You’re Dead by Walking Past Your Grave
I ask your name what it’s doing on a stone.
It doesn’t answer because that’s not how names talk.
When I see your name I’m not in a poem and nothing
is the colour of anything else. I’m locked on gravel,
by the loam soil houses of my dad and grandparents
who aren’t there, although their names are. Since
your name doesn’t have much to say, I ask the stone.
It also doesn’t answer. Stone is a dense, unyielding claim
and it is much heavier than a soul, which is why
they put it on top of dead people. When you line stones
up like that, you have a deconstructed guessing game
or a theatre of closed mouths. Your name shines
as if new, as if rain got lost in the shape of someone,
as if nothing, but the dates kill you. I don’t know why.
I don’t want blame to paint a picture on my phone.
I ask a blank page why it’s made of stone and it tells me
a version of a story, and then another. In the versions,
the letters of your name shimmer like sun on the smile
of a razor, shine on curved glass, a puddle in a pothole
or any other thing that takes light from a source
before passing it up to the sky.
AMY ACRE is the author of And They Are Covered in Gold Light (Bad Betty Press) and Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads (flipped eye), each chosen as a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. She runs Bad Betty Press with Jake Wild Hall.