The sun shining on someone's eye, with a hand on their forehead
Irina Rozovsky

Requiem With Remission

A poem for Sunday

— for L

After the last surgery. After
hearing you wake within the breached levee

of your whole life. After water-hymn,
as I washed your body’s sutured beauty,

the stone doubt in both our faces whetted
by cancer. After our child has grasped

at the warmth in your palm & led you out
to watch a late spring light moving cardinals

between the Ozark oaks early in this year’s
season of going golden-green. After

the softness from a song invited me
to ask for a little mercy now—: And when

this question made of my throat a sieve
that would catch no grief, you kind of found me

like that, adding the mereness of my tears
to the half-cleaned dishes inside the sink.

Then the child’s far-off voice returned us
to the bearable shape of our actual sadness:—

That night, all together in the yard & not
much wind combing through & no firefly

wonder for our child to waft at, the feared
departure still hovered ghost-close, but for

an hour or so we couldn’t wander
beyond the gathering we’d dreamt, just yet.