I try to record the song
lifting from the pines and birches,
one solitary note—shrill—then three
—trill, trill—then twelve or twenty,
all at once like a reunion of women
at a kitchen table: my aunts and grandmothers
with wine in hand & cigarettes bouncing
to the syllables of the names in their stories,
their ash-flick of grief.
Why is dusk so melancholy?
The vesper of tree frogs begins
with or without me. I often sit
and watch the end of the day
turn to a steely grey. Those women
each claim their widowhood. Like the X
on the back of the peeper,
we are all marked
in one way or another;
maybe we carry the sign from birth,
maybe from far away.
Each woman in my family
has buried a husband;
in that line I am the last.
Bits of night begin to unravel,
and slowly cover the sky
as the song swells.
I know when I am gone,
it will only get louder and louder.