Last Mile


Even from this distance, and the chasm is widening, I kiss your old and new wounds, I kiss you, I do.” -Amy Gerstler

I can’t make this pain useful

only two hands to dig

in downspout weather 

only one heart and all roads lead to empty fields


black bird, O you must know what it is to come up empty

nothing in your beak but a weird prayer 

pass it down along the wire;

nothing to eat tonight 


I walk the highway

past the old barns and rusted out barrels

filled with autumn rain


I’ll never get back 

to where it is I belong –

will you? remember 

me, as one of those who made good out of bad

who loved you deeply

and with all that I had?


O black bird, here it comes again

nothing tonight

but the hunger.