Eating Grief

In memoriam for my son Jacob Myers: Oct. 3, 1985-May 6, 2009


The wind cups a few sparks of fear
carefully so as not to blow them out.

Sadness lifts its head like a horse in darkness.
My beloved son is dead and I walk backward,

lowering The End like a rock curtain,
tasting metal in the silence that attaches itself

to the electrodes of memory. Flashbacks of Jake
scorch the surface while my feet can’t touch bottom.

Mind-howls spread and even themselves out
among the smithereens of wind and light.

I am blinded by the guilt that gold-rims my thoughts
like a set of bone china which I am given to eat grief from,

a kind of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring him back
to life. I passed on to my son the opposite of every mistake

I ever made, crushing him between propriety and homilies.
Tonight dew drops jewel the leaves and the clouds air-brush

the moon as if beauty were brain-dead to the sky
curling like a burning photo. Each day is a fresh grave

dug into me. Everything I do is instilled with the care
of the frail and aged. As my spiritual beliefs slide away

from what is, every thing is becoming a holy remnant.
My son’s death is deathless and backlights the world.

Jack Myers was a former Texas Poet Laureate and the author of 17 books of and about poetry. He died late last year.