Speak to Us

For all of my years, I’ve read only living signs—
bodies in jealousy, bodies in battle,
bodies growing disease like mushroom coral.
It is tiresome, tiresome, describing
fir cones waiting for fires to catch their human ribs
into some slow, future forest.

My beloved, he tires of me, and he should—
my complaints the same, his recourse
the same, invoking the broad, cool sheet suffering drapes
over the living freeze of heart after heart,
and never by that heart’s fault—the heart did not make itself,
the face did not fashion its jutting jawbone
to wail across the plains or beg the bare city.

I will no longer tally the broken, ospreyed oceans,
the figs that outlived summer
or the tedious mineral angles and
their suction of light.

Have you died? Then speak.
You must see the living
are too small as they are,
lonesome for more
and in varieties of pain
only you can bring into right view.

More Poems by Katie Ford