She wakes shouting Albert,
Albert in darkness.
The name of her father,
the name of his son.
One is dead, the other way
and neither is me: her son, the one
holding her sweat-slick hand
as she slips back into absence.



I drive half-way across the bridge,
kill my engine and wait.
You told me ghosts will push
my car to the other end.
In stillness, the bridge, rusted
with the memory of use,
complains of chronic aches:
the weight of the living,
who expect the dead
to finish what we will not do.



Mother, I cannot sing
fallen leaves back
onto their branches.


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