J.L. Conrad

Poem in Which I Try to Bring Back the Dead

It’s a question of loss. Each afternoon I phone
from the glass booth beside the ocean, wind
driving air through the door-cracks, sky flung haphazard.
Each night we enter the casino, taking our chances,
traveling the long corridors of lit stars. When it’s clear
something else must be done, we remove
our names from the waiting list. Wearing bracelets
fashioned from spoons, we approach the truth-
tree seeking to open the question, to settle
our differences. Later, as we eat breakfast, flocks
of nightingales cloud the air. There’s no coffee to be found
for miles, and all signs point to walking: jaunty figures,
leaping deer, an air of yellow danger. A sense that
we might arrive at any one of our pasts is brewing.
Because we no longer need our bodies, we’ve
sent them packing. We try to name this grief. The day
holds thick as feathers. Your voice hums without breaking.