ELEGY IN REVERSE

BAILEY COHEN

 

for Aires
 
 
Rather selfishly, I suppose, I watch you leave my grandmother—
your ashes separating themselves from hers first,
then foaming oceanwater, then algae-ridden rock and clumped, damp sand—
 
which rearranges itself into a gorgeous mold for what was once your body,
then flattens out and becomes spectacularly unrecognizable—
floating into the thick with salt air, back into la urna we brought you here in,
 
a vessel, for our memories of you, turned ashen and kind,
as we trudge backwards, our footprints disappearing, into our cars
to go back home, where you belong, where I unlearn of your
 
unbecoming, where you grow healthier and healthier, where you begin
to fall from our couches and repair all of the
cushions, where you were brought, small and mostly
 
an idea, where someone said, “Name him,” so we did.

 
 

∘∘∘