What Metal Remembers

by Marsha De La O

Marsha De La O

Yes, I buried a mason jar in that flowerbed
next to our rented cottage, a lock of your hair inside
and a silver ring you rarely wore. What would I give
to climb those stone steps once more, enter the tangle
of violet and cosmos, onyx lips parted, stalks sturdy
enough in this drought for only a single bloom, one
star face with its burning center. What would I give
to kneel and scrabble at our earth with naked fingers?

I could offer all the drowned bells I possess, my cloak
of feathers, my chain-mail, these mother-of-pearl combs
for a chance to touch your black hair again, that lock
darker and younger than we ever were. I would do it.
I want to slip our broken promise onto my hand, how-
ever tarnished, insistent, accustomed to your thicker flesh.
Even after years in darkness among roots weaving and
unweaving their truths, I’m sure metal still remembers you.

And yes, it is true, seeds will scatter from the lowliest
of blooms and one substance imparts its essence to another,
so too I see how willingly I take up residence in the night
singing a song of night. Just like that I buried the mason jar.

Last updated November 25, 2022