FOR MY DAUGHTER ON THE DEATH OF HER NEW LOVE
Write his name in honey
Lay him down
Let your tongue
After a number of spectacularly bad relationships, my daughter Elizabeth fell in love this spring. She talked about him constantly and I could see her blossoming. A few weeks into the relationship, he was found dead in his bed. This poem is both elegy and sad reassurance that grief visits us all, and that we carry the dead with us. I've always loved Rilke's lines "If you can bear it so, be dead among the dead./The dead are occupied." There's something lilting and final in that last line. Mesmerized by its rhythm, I played on it.