there’s nothing left of what was.
just handfuls now, almost-dust and never-enough.
you hide them in boxes labeled “things I could love”
only to bury them when winter comes.
the steel-hard ground gives no comfort or thanks,
instead demanding tribute from the new-empty-handed.
you pay and more as your nails scrabble red at the surface,
blooms of becoming, forever interred.
back in the gathering place the blacktop’s barren,
and you all bruised knuckles and cheeks on fevered fire.
the burning’s nothing next to the beckoning.
I know, I’ve been there before.
fountain-bound pennies, fragments of long-dead star,
gifts for the unworthy wisher.
when you ask (and you will) ask for peace when you go.
everything else is just fuel.