as April ends, aftershocks

In Nepal, they are dead by the thousands,
yet at night, in the epic tragedy of our bed,
they are hardly spared a thought as we fight
for the happiness so long missed. I wanted
this to be an easy poem to write: all sweeping
sentiment and unfolded perspective, laundry
tossed on the couch and handily sorted.
I, after all, have no burials to plan, no body to bear.
Survival is too far a concept to be bought dear,
though, and I am left with this landslide
of vague loneliness, wishing only for you
to hold me, for a kindness, for a plane ticket
to Katmandu. There are all kinds of earthquakes,
love; some nearer home than others.

The Slip, deep winter

in
shockoe,
foul waters run
downhill, trickle-drip
through cobbles like
tears on stony
cheeks.

canal-shadows
lie like fog ink
in the footprints
of the devil’s half acre,
glutted with the browns
of swollen January.

the river dreams of escape.
seabirds cry grey laments,
the beating of their winterwings
stirring blighted hope
as they careen homeward, away,

and,
for the first time,
i am
afraid
to walk the water-paths
alone.