On Discovering a Grave

Down an overgrown trail
store-bought flowers act as a wax seal
enclosing cancer or a car’s blind-spot.

Their pot-shaped roots try expanding
into a forest they’ll never perenniate.
Their petals mistake me for a mourner
cooing in colors radiant to the conifers.

Underneath must be a collection of bones–
eaten around and resting on a rib side,
legs curled as if mid-bound against a dirt backdrop.

Maybe the fur still remains–
softness that wrinkled noses when wet,
that burrowed into couches, car seats, and pant legs.

Fur ringing with metal tags
of vet visits and a name with a story.

Fur rising at squirrels and the neighbor’s terrier.
Fur hand-polished down the back.

Fur fossilizing on ephemeral memories.

I pinch a petal–thin and rubbery–
nothing like fur at all.

First Published in The Shore, Issue 11, Autumn 2021

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