to Jake Adam York
I find you in the radio waves
that hurt you once,
the ones that carry dead voices,
the ones through your ears. You are
here and not here. You used to
say the only thing better than a good
poem is a good barbecue
so you wrote poetry about pulled pork,
you grilled chicken and steak on the same
plate, said connections are what we
call a picnic: a southern song and dance
rhyme in the sweat of October. Everyone
in you is lost in your blood.
We stretch our limbs, tilt our heads back,
steal your last breaths.
And we roll forward, all on our bellies,
all creating a sky darker than
night, darker than your eyes, all living
what we do not know, praying to whom we
do not know, laughing at what we do
not know (not knowing what we do know).
This winter we are empty but we are
heavy. This letter is already sent through
your blood stream, your heart,
your vessels, weak and strong, young
and younger. So you are the moon
we look to when it’s too dark
for the sun, too cool for barbecue,
too long to be short enough for wishing
and missing you. You are the coming
heartwave that moves through us
where we stand—we fix our faces
I find you in everything I have
not finished, in the soil of my heart I
planted you in, in your dying and trying.
These strings in us are broken
but we must soon pick them up.