Fields of Heather

To the Messenger who shot me
a glance before I could turn her down—

—two forgotten lanes crossing her heart, each cemetery path leading to you, she summons me through | tear-streaked highways alight with windscreen petals peeling labels from the glass of art, as though | storms consecrate their passing to fable, as if we believe in each other, but only when we are able, so | I write to you now, knowing the power of purple-footed prose, trembling in my hand, can somehow prove | in a distant instant of night-years, how hard it was, this pulling on through; it is loss which quickens, but few | who glow with its token, mistaking poverty for pity, and pity for riches, as if nothing can slow | the process of dying, when death is the thickest load to swallow, each saunter into the throes | of desire shows its visitors what wisdom sustains a momentary misery; it is the tendency to | dream which causes men to envy sleep, women to keep everything they ever received, show | the world their secrets in a vase, and flowers themselves wither if they have to entertain; go | on farther, go on to the gate, go on to

the ground and grasp the grass where she laid; go | now down to heaven-chorused thrushes, singing their chortles at the unlocked door no | one knocks on, ajar like a mouth inviting in filth, decay lying to privilege, insisting it is those | who wish for it who receive its deadening division—that somehow death can promise so | much to the living; and at the boneyard gate, make a circle of ash, sprinkle onto the path, low | to the ground, a smattering of travesty resounding the valley of darkness with its burning down sound shown | so brightly to passersby and to tramps, that on the night that you greet her, your sister will glow | telling the world how you came just to meet her; dig down in the sound, down in the mound grown | with envy, and spite the desire you thought could revive her; tell your sister you killed her ego | after you unearthed yours, strength enough to curse tomorrow with the innocence she sowed | and as her flesh greets the willow’s, listen to her softly talking below, inviting you to come below—

—hear her asking if we
can help her now.