After Burial

In the music box a wooden angel spins,
making her own weather.

Near the riverbank where we
buried the gulls I light a candle

and wait, patient as a hunter detecting
what wind will do

in foliage.  Someone,
somewhere, will see it.

The flame glowing like a toy sun
or a trick God.

If we did not go back
we’d be kinder.

The wind forces the fire out
and I leave only to return

to this river where the gulls
rise, small white banshees

oiled in music.
by Carlie Hoffman