on losing loss
i am yet to document
of mourning. the dawn after.
the breeze. the slightly
feverish feeling that has began
to burn trust back
through thinning clouds.
i tried to ignore it, the bright
attempted to hold on.
i felt robbed of the stone
in my left shoe. robbed of
black spells. i felt
was grief fantastical? did i
overdo it? foolish
enough to grieve the end
of grief. i will not walk
that bridge anymore. nothing
there for me.
only beauty. ahead, only.
anything to change the course
of this collision, to fly birds
backwards to nests, muddle
back into me and mine. anything to
reverse motion, counter the bloom
of sickness on the lip, to drain
the urge for action before it
thinks itself into a riverside chat.
anything to tether, remain and fruit
at last: we were promised jetpacks.
anything mean, man-holed and black
magic. any small delusion. any
manner of belonging. misnaming
whose as yours and mine. not
an honest question will pass
this rack of teeth, hard clenched.
we sit the body on the chair, wrap it
in red paper mache, the ghost
of it mousetrapped, dolled up into
panics of petticoats, thick not
with living but water, its wedding
gown a great white sinking ship:
this evening is not a white flag.
neither route nor alternative – we grieve
the absence of a map. the distance
to the sun. the word: bereft.
so will your delight increase.1The title is taken from ‘The Greatest Gift’, a song by Sufjan Stevens.
day after the monster: quieter than
the day before – you sitting on
corrugated bedsheets, thick prismatic
light-waves, having found how
come now. come shadows and
suitcases full of rain. come now
empty, devoid. come now
cracked egg and dawn. first lights
lifting you unbroken.
did we use to argue? could we
walk this landscape of silent
rice, banana tree, egret? we are
whispered into revelation, green
horizon – we won’t be looking down
the coal well anymore.
its wet sorrow has abandoned.
someone will come to change the sheets
through which i traced every black
scale, the beast outlined, releasing
body now walking its pressed light
to the breakfast table.
1. The title is taken from ‘The Greatest Gift’, a song by Sufjan Stevens.
Lorelei Bacht is a person and poet living, working and missing birches somewhere in Asia. Their recent work has appeared in The Selkie, Barrelhouse, After the Pause, Harpy Hybrid Review, Sinking City and elsewhere. They can be found on Twitter: @bachtlorelei and on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer