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 chapbook published by Green Linden Press.)

Erika Brumett

Erika Brumett’s words appear in numerous publications, including North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Five Points.  Her novel, Scrap Metal Sky, was published in 2016 by Shape&Nature Press.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2018