An old friend burned sage
then folded my hands in hers
and told me that years ago she could not leave either
and slept on her husband’s grave for nine nights.
At the grave after dark, I fell asleep,
unaware of the cold,
deaf to coyotes.
I think I have slept for three years
on that dirt,
have swallowed ash,
have wrapped myself in sackcloth
wrung out and hung to stiffen in winter sun.
You folding my hands now in yours reminded me of
the comfort of quilts,
the sweetness of an apple,
the relief of rain in summer.