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The Stay of Grief photo

We never meant to stay so long
in the room with the billowy curtains. 

At night, we dine al fresco
and walk barefoot on the cobblestones.

The ocean is spectacular,
the waves curved in perfect crescents. 

There is one boat out every day.
We are never packed in time to take it. 

We held his brief, curled body
but he will not be able to come with us.

We thought of having another child,
not to get over the loss but to repeat 

each drum of the failing heartbeat, each dispatch 
from the doctor about the weather out there.

Because we had so memorized the terror,
we would know beforehand this time, 

the blue-gray skin of the place, the sharp turn,
the wind in the water, the marsh’s hip-high brush.

We wash our clothes in the sink,
and hang them on the terrace railing to dry.

We pass by the clerk in the lobby,
chin in his hands, his elbows on the counter.

We tell him we will stay another day,
and he says, “but, of course!”


image: David Wright