Desert is the Memory of Water
After I am gone and the ache begins
to cease and the slow erosion I felt,
being older than you, invades you too,
you’ll come to see that an image of the desert
is the memory of water, like remembering
when we were walking in beautiful Barcelona
and you said you thought trees were gods
because they were rooted in earth
and flew in the air and magically made food
out of light and made the air we breathe.
I was stunned how you could open up a God-space
just like that. Like when my 2-year-old dug holes
in the yard and fit his face into each of them to see,
as he explained, if he could find where the darkness
came from. Then you asked me why I never prayed.
I believe whatever disappears or survives
or comes into being is a prayer that’s already
been answered, and that we feel alone
because we won’t let go of what is gone
or changed or hasn’t happened yet.
Waking this morning with my arms around you,
the dogs snoring, and a mourning dove cooing,
I felt I awoke in a peaceable kingdom
where the fear of death turned inside-out
into a love for life. If I prayed, I’d pray for that for you.
-- Jack Myers, from his final collection,
The Memory of Water