The Unmarked Grave
The unfeeling caretaker told me where to find you
He’s in Section 23.
You’ll know it’s him,
because there’ll be dirt.
There’ll be dirt.
I repeat it over and over
till it loses its meaning, loses its sting,
till it almost begins to seem funny,
till it’s not about the thing
separating you from being in this world.
And then there I am, in a field
sprouting small, gray stones
like dandelions gone to seed,
a garden of single plots
and nameless bodies.
I know you by the promised dirt,
the brown package that contains you.
I stand at the foot of your grave
and it reminds me how tall you were,
how awkward it was to hold your hand,
how we didn’t hold hands often because of that,
how we should’ve held them anyway-
because at the end,
these are things you wish you could change.
Standing there at your grave,
I want to quote Buk to you,
the poem about Jane dying that we loved.
I want to apologize for telling you
that you couldn’t get anything right
and finally admit that I couldn’t either.
I want to tell you
that I am thinking about who you were,
not how you ended up.
You are not Gatsby’s funeral,
empty as his parties were full.
You are not the long, still thing
under the forgetful ground.
You are not just some dead junkie
that no one loved and everyone forgot,
and I wish like hell you hadn’t died.
There’s a lot I meant to tell you in this life,
but never could.
And even though it still feels like the wrong time,
I have to say these things to you now
because, in the spring,
when the grass grows back,
I won’t know how to find you.