BY MARY JO BANG
How could I have failed you like this?
The narrator asks
The object. The object is a box
Of ashes. How could I not have saved you,
A boy made of bone and blood. A boy
Made of a mind. Of years. A hand
And paint on canvas. A marble carving.
How can I not reach where you are
And pull you back. How can I be
And you not. You’re forever on the platform
Seeing the pattern of the train door closing.
Then the silver streak of me leaving.
What train was it? The number six.
What day was it? Wednesday.
We had both admired the miniature mosaics
Stuck on the wall of the Met.
That car should be forever sealed in amber.
That dolorous day should be forever
Embedded in amber.
In garnet. In amber. In opal. In order
To keep going on. And how can it be
That this means nothing to anyone but me now.