ghazal for sophie

written 30 jan 2021

how perfect to die washed in the full moon soft,
concrete-splayed, as if one had been swooned soft.

i saw what death does to a body still living
long before i let it touch mine; feared it’d make me too soft.

how my mother sobbed like an alien thing,
and i mothered her; in her own voice i cooed soft.

i did not speak for one hundred and sixty-eight days
when she died. only she could turn this fool soft.

that same summer, a river showed me how endings feel
wrapped in its arms, so huge, so dark, such a cool soft

in that wet and buzzing void, i saw not a single face.
i knew then that ends are not a kind, but a cruel, soft.

on the full moon last night, a woman fell a great height
i watched her flesh meet the ground, a pale, true soft.

it was then i swore mom whispered, “█████ –
to live is to cherish those wounds that make you soft.”