LESLIE ADRIENNE MILLER
Loss is cruelest to the tongue,
shards of scorch in rancid oil,
lemon gone flat at the back
of the fridge, or the bent tine
of a fork dragged across the lip
to add a bead of one’s own blood,
suckle of rust and salt of the torn flap.
For years I mourned departures
with swiftly dilated views, but this
one burns through every pore. Slash
and sear drain all trace from what
I flail to keep. How many
seams must I stitch up quick
in the skin of the fading print
to keep the wild hyacinth aglow
around the impress of our steps?
And how many hands do I need
to catch the mossy spritz
from the whelm of icy falls?
Quick, quick, give me something light
and sweet, three dozen kites
lifting surfers from the beach.
Oh give me back those two
white peaches we couldn’t eat.