by Gillian Prew

My days hang dipped white dresses in small histories –
memories caught in amber-solid summers,
black-stuck corpses with lies for legs. There,

a child
her heart gathered deep
held in keep for a life with walls thicker than crying,
stronger than the agony of voices. Lost now

the sick nourishment
in bone
in dust

looking to the optimism of sunrises;
the dirty gene dreaming of medicine.

Death is more final than I thought:

its stone heavier than loss –
no elegiac emblem;
no mere sullen symbol.

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