You Were the Warmth

The first time I read a poem
was the day my sister died.
After the eulogy,
no-one helped me sweep up her ashes,
but the words were warm anyway.

I-81 is such a long drive
for those of us with nothing to talk about.
I was never able to speak with ghosts,
so I accidentally stole your seat
as the smokey spirit of your fingertips
found the wheel.
Home to Alabama in the winter.

I smell you when my friends
marry outdoor air with cigarette smoke,
and in the ionized calm before the horses
realize there will be a storm.
I remember reining them in,
Your hair static-kissed with lighting.

It was bitter out, like the sun
had shed its heat in respect,
the day I read for you.
But your words dripped down-
to warm the grass-
and tell it how right it was
to poke up through the snow.


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