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The Absence

A special burden they release, the pines,
when in June their scented pollen falls
yellow, dulls the lamé sheen of cars parked
under them, and dusts the silky lake.
Every grief and chipmunk set a footprint;
fish kiss at water’s surface, leaving
moments of dark clarity that vanish—
like pricks of ache that needle me
yet I cannot explain or grasp them. Yes,

I grabbed for her, what could I do? She was there;
where were you? She fed me juicy orange
quarters and I grinned with orange teeth. She
fed me under trees, she let me drink
the water. I studied it so carefully
for slightest flicker showing from beneath.

Famous Adoptees