Panties Left in a Cemetery —Erika Brumett
Their fabric is latticed, delicate,
crotch-to-the-sky beside a grave.
Twisted waistband. Little satin bow.
The threading webs, red in sunshaft,
mauve in the shade of the stone.
Someone loved here. Moaned below oaks,
groped above bones. Who lifted hips,
tasted lace, dropped soft cloth on clover?
Did light sift, moths flit, teeth pluck elastic?
Maybe mourners coupled, thrusted through grief.
Or did kids ditch math class, come
lusting down dew paths, find this patch?
Stillness, tall grass, fountains crying lichen.
Just children, eagerlings fingering
bottle caps, loss, bra straps.
At a glance, the undies are a doily,
a hankie from a wake. Wadded,
forgotten, they rot where crosses
moss and cherubs watch. Where daisies
lie flat, crushed by small deaths.
(This poem is from bonehouse, a forthcoming chapbook to be published by Green Linden Press.)
Patrick T. Reardon