Snowshoe to Otter Creek

love lasts by not lasting
                       —Jack Gilbert

I’m mapping this new year’s vanishings:    
lover, yellow house, the knowledge of surfaces.
This is not a story of return.
There are times I wish I could erase
the mind’s lucidity, the difficulty of Sundays,
my fervor to be touched
by a woman two Februarys gone. What brings the body
back, grieved and cloven, tromping these woods
with nothing to confide in? New snow reassumes
the circleting trees, the bridge above the creek
where I stand like a stranger to my life.
There is no single moment of loss, there is
an amassing. The disbeliever sleeps at an angle
in the bed. The orchard is a graveyard.
Is this the real end? Someone shoveling her way out
with cold intention? Someone naming her missing? 

Stacie Cassarino, “Snowshoe to Otter Creek” from Zero at the Bone. Copyright © 2009 by Stacie Cassarino. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.
Source: Zero at the Bone (New Issues Press, 2009)
More Poems by Stacie Cassarino