Christopher Salerno

Burying a St. Joseph in the Backyard

He has never been called loser; he is digging a hole.
The sun throws in its voice. Cirrus clouds
he must be mostly absent to see. If he prays
for a higher offer, the words are unknown to anyone
like a room that is empty and dark. There,
he watches his own shadow, with all its weight,
packing curtains in a hard-shell case.
Summer is going and taking with it every clear idea
the windows ever had, giving way
to an ever-expanding emptiness. Now, only X
marks the weedy spot where what is buried
slowly loses form. Nights: A net of mosquitoes
in a capital hangs dusklit on each light.
Dew uncurls the fists of dry leaves along the patio.
He holds. As now his dogs dig up
the textured clay and bring it in the house.
He clears a space nowhere in particular. For a moment,
there isn’t a Weehawken. Around his head,
bubble wrap. He is breaking it and breathing in.

© 2005 Electronic Poetry Review