Ask me how I first learned that a shroud has no pockets. It was
one of those green-stained late afternoons when geologists alight
on the hill with their mouths gaping like little tunnels,

watching the grass dissolve into the sky. The unlit star
to my right was scratching itself before the world could glimpse
its fingers. Every rock sung: not long and low, not brassy and

shameless but mid-voice, a sturdy tune. Together, a band
of foxes was unemotionally cracking the skull of the marsh. Oh,
the shuddering twigs. Oh, the glimmer of end. Oh, how

you swiveled in my direction and remarked that someday we
would be infirm enough to forget the old worlds, the dead ones—
a voracious starburst grinning in the palm of your hand.

Suzanne Marie Hopcroft