Marry me before there is more death
in this world, before those we love
turn to ash. Each year, the trees grow
older. Each year, I believe the branches
will be full of bells and veils.
I have bent trumpets into rings,
folded sonnets into doves.
Don’t say we’ll wait
for an autumn of amber leaves.
It may not come. Don’t tell me
I look the way I did the day
my eyes closed with wine. I see my face
in the weathered sky. Marry me
before we become the dry bark
and leaves of those decrepit trees,
faithless that a winter rain will come.
from The Book of Lamenting (Anhinga Press)
Winner of the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry