There is confusion,
even after the phone call
I can only see you alive.
She said death was immediate,
and you are a box of ashes now.
I wonder if some of your stubborn bone remains,
or those hard white teeth,
but there will be no face in repose,
no soft white hands folded on your chest,
nothing to offer closure.

For now, there is just this endless autumn drizzle,
useless for washing away the dust,
turning it to silt that sticks to my boots,
staining the floor with tracks that are not yours.
It will be the same come winter,
as snow melts on the wooden floor tracks will appear,
and you will be nowhere in sight.

I am sorry you will keep dying in my memory,
once should be enough for anyone to endure.
I’ll look for you in the words, and places you loved,
but also, in this damp light gathering in the street –
anywhere there might be tracks,
and wonder at the strangeness of imagination
that sees your traces in the silver glow.