A field, smoldering. The difference
between wailing and controlled
rage. Where to begin
when everything is in flames?
Ex-lover’s letters smoking
in the winter woods, rotted backyard fence
burning in the pit, eyelashes singed
lighting a cigarette too close. The field is bright
and glowing. Sparks of firelight spasm
in the wind. What are the rules? Do we come
to forget or never remember?
The process of displacing memory,
dismembering the past into ashes.
We sweep pain in a box, label it ghost.
The relics of past love, of a house built to fall,
of scorched hair and bruised bones,
of a hit and run, of a body bent to break.
We bury the box and do not mourn.
We make sense out of departure, a final rupture.
The space will ache until filled again. When we return
we will lay those ashes to rest.
The past is a box burning in a field.
Tiana Nobile is a Teaching Artist living in New Orleans. She is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. She is also a Kundiman fellow and recipient of the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.