Near the end, I will fall in love with geologists
as you find ways to get me comfortable with the earth.
This main course of study is where ash feels cleanest,
tethered body as mineral in lieu of flesh pumped by needles.
You were the only living creature I ever wanted close.
Somehow, you still make your way to the last of me
while singing only the best. My dreams become stones
fashioned for sarcophagi,
coming up through the sand
before the curtain falls over me. I want to remain firm
and always let the water in. The years get rid of crags,
they tumble me smooth. Help me forget the cold steel
and stiff sheets. Bring the lapis, the jasper, the agate
to grant the color back to me. When you can’t hold my hands,
you sift through the artifacts. Your dreams become finding
windows as the bars go up,
your shout below
a scythe of birds
cutting through the harvest air. You cannot move a solstice,
but you can stay and play games with my family.
Great aunt with her amber perfumes and turquoise, older silvered brother
with his pack of tarot cards. Throw down the priestess arcana
and say I’m still here. I’ve made armor for every occasion.
Remember how humid it used to be,
even with our hail
ice from unexpected angels the closest
you’ll get to any spiritual experience,
ideas of shelter
(us in us)
I am no longer your suspended geometry.
Although I don’t wish it,
you’d kill for a figment.
Geology, the last science, will leave me:
gone as a cluster of carbuncles,
an urn for your ocean.
Remember, I say, remember to meet me
in the tourmaline, where we can always pick the color of our shine.
JOSEPH DANTE lives in Plantation, Florida with his husband and two cats. His work has been featured in Permafrost, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Rumpus, Best Gay Stories 2015, PANK, Corium, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the 2016 Lascaux Prize for Poetry.