Last spring I flew home like a bird
to work in the rose garden, & I learned how to dead
-head through thorns, how to be fire-stung by a saddleback
caterpillar & breathe through it, how to sneeze out lavender
& sweat out grief, one morning Holly & I weeded
crabgrass beneath white hydrangeas, she told me
she can talk to the dead, I giggled & said Holly we all can
if we want to, she said yeah but they talk to me too, & I dug
down further in the dirt for roots, she palmed the crown
of her head, it’s so loud in here sometimes, like Grand Central
Station, then her voice turned to a whisper & she leaned in,
I wish you could hear it. You think your cousin’s gone; she’s not.
Then she motioned to the blooms & the oaks & the hot June air
she’s right here—they all are—it’s like they’re in the other room.