We sort silently through belongings
Sift through left-behinds,
Of last days.
Turning sweet papers and tissues and odd socks over in our hands
Pausing, sightless as though at rare finds.
Here is the throw-away razer
Clotted with skin and blood and hair
Here are your teeth, in pink, in the dish.
We thought you were Lazarus.
That last time, here, our
Vigils lashed your slender line of life
To our still insistent blood and pulse.
Willed into living.
That we could resent again
Your mess and phlegm and
Our weary self-reproach.
Forget the pain and fear of impending loss.
So here now in this shrouded room
with your stilled body, a trace-less cardiac screen
The sounds of magpies gathering
We clasp one another against what must come.