Years Ago You Sang to Me in Rome

Sang to me in RomeYesterday there was a letter
Sealed in white envelope,
Addressed by hand I’d never seen.

Opened with old screwdriver
Last used to open oysters,
Pried open to learn of dear friend’s death.

This oyster had no pearl—
Sucked out salty sea of tears, washed up
Like deadwood found after storm on beach.

This morning there was thin coat—
Ice upon chilled waters of the lake,
Fish buried in mud; heart still buried in brine.

Years ago you sang to me in Rome—
Warm voice brought tears.
Now I wish you’d sing to me again.

Some say the dead are always there.
Yet I only hear the sound of water
Running through a basement pipe.

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