Stories exchanged, details halting
from constricted throats, the air—
a somber pleurisy pierced by welcome
occasional laughter; we remember
our dead in this way.
Like elephants, we pick up the bones
and kiss them, handle them, feeling for
pocks and notches, their wounds and wornness.
We fold the remnants into our long memory
then in tender uncoiling, replace them
on the ground.
A gray procession
lumbers home; our giant tears
muddy the path.
Published, February, 2016 in Timberline Review