There’s hardly any phone pole left—just staples,
brown and rusted, sunk into the wood
like blunt teeth. Walking home after
the burial (a distant cousin, a face
from family Christmas cards) I think of how
her husband smiled, looked left, started to speak,
as if he’d find her where she always was.
And now the staples look like tally marks
for what hung there: an apartment up for rent,
flyers for a high school metal band,
a girl with braids gone missing for a week,
six months. The posters melted in the rain,
but the staples clamped down over emptiness.
I touch them with my open palm and find
I’m pushing hard. My skin collects their shapes.