Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Three Untitled Poems

Three Untitled Poems
Formatting for image content: Photograph via Flickr by Walter Smith


This rock no longer tries
though you give each grave
the tool it needs

—does it matter
you haven’t looked here in years
—you bring the dead

and your forehead each day
closer to the ground
easy to grab, hold close

let it harden, already
scraped for the powder
that cures, can stop the breathing.


Its arms still around her, this dirt
clings between what’s left behind
and the rain —its stones stare back

can’t make out the fingers nearby
easily yours and with each handful
something that is not her forehead

just the over and over nearness
you pull closer and with your mouth
welcomes this dirt, covers it

the way any helpless wound is kept moist
and on her cheeks, something later
no longer remembers, barely dry.


You reach for this face cloth
the way every bridge is built
reminds the dead –sway

though water is older than sunlight
older than rain and wave after wave
–you have so many mouths, drink

from a rag carried across
as shoreline and someone’s death
–so much cloth, clinging to water

that waits for its darkness
for your touch, breathless
in secret, tighter and tighter.