by Beth Bernstein

We walked among the garden
of thick tumbleweed, our feet
sinking beneath colorless gravel,
salt and earth.
The words you spoke to me
disappear in knowing arrogance
white rocks expel.
My ears thrum in silence.

We walked here once
when summer came,
ripe foliage crisp in wind
and shade
cypress birthing piles
of noisy children beneath sturdy,
forgiving arms, 
and we found solace here. 

Now, you reach for my hand
and grasp cold, lithe fingers
in your own, steady ripe twigs
sliding around, in between
and through
piercing eternity
in one hollow season.