Aria Aber – Dirt And Light

Aria Aber

Last night it startled me again—I dreamed
of the corn maze through which we walked,
almost a decade ago, in the presence
of our other lovers. It was all burned down.
Purple corn glowed in the fields enveloping
the ruined maze, the woodlands washed
by October sun. Instead of you, I found in the salt-white music
of that familiar landscape an old piano, hollowed
by the draft of time, and the handle of a porcelain cup
in scorched soil. Relics of an imagined,
civil life. Today, in the lemony light by your grave,
I recited Merrill: Why did I flinch? I loved you, then touched
the damp and swelling mud, blue hyacinths
your mother planted there—
ants were swarming the unfinished plot of earth
like the black text of an infinite alphabet. I couldn’t
read it. There was no epiphany, just dirt, the vast curtain
between this realm and the other. You never speak to me,
I thought, not even in dreams.
For hours, I sat there, mocked by the bees—
silly girl, their golden faces laughed, she still wants
and wants. A warm gust shook the trees,
and a pigeon settled into the dusk
of a wet pine, and then another.