I will use this pencil to draw you back to me.
If not to this world, then inside, rising
like a river or bones Ezekiel brought back to life.
Never a conclusion, always imagination’s axle
rotating in the wheel’s center.
This is not about Ezekiel, exiled to Babylon,
his crazy visions almost hidden from the canons.
This is not about Ishmael
who lived to be one hundred thirty-seven, child
of Abraham and Hagar.
Hagar, a mere handmaiden to Sarah, chosen by Sarah.
Is this about a slave purchased to carry a son?
How the seed grew inside of her, how
the seed grew like mastika sapping from a tree.
A tree becomes a forest of believers.
How Hagar and Ishmael, forsaken, were dying
in a wilderness, until an angel showed
her the well, the angel
reclining by her, O for the thirsty.
O for you, my beloved, who did not live to one hundred thirty-seven,
yielded to fluids cresting inside your brain, pushing
against its walls, until there was no memory,
body and memory drowning in your own terrace of fluids.
Terrace, in Old French, rubble, in Latin,
terra, earth, akin to torrere: to parch, to thirst.
When you were dying, I used an orange sponge
to dab ice onto your lips.
How EMTs had come and gone so many times
to lift you, we brought in the metal bed, its locking casters.
No more sirens, except the one calling to you.
Yes, this year is over. Yes, I etch absence—
in grief’s desert, I wait for Ezekiel to find me.