So it gives us everything, this death,
this grace, our crime against the tomb.
The mother died, half her body turned
dark, verging on a form of murder.
We must learn to die, the father said,
execute a sly rebellion in broad daylight
and write our names in the dirt. Beneath
the nightstand are the letters we keep
precisely to keep us sad. We can’t stop
reading. That is what we do: return.
We visit the dark body, the bed
where the mother caught fire and wait.
In this hour of grace, we wait to wait again.
Each word a little death. We will write this one day,
the father said. We will feel the glow.
We will read our own dark hands and wither.
Trista Edwards is a poet and also the curator and editor of the anthology, Till The Tide: An Anthology of Mermaid Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2015). You can read her poems at The Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, 32 Poems, The Adroit Journal, Sou’wester, Queen Mob's Tea House, and more. She writes about travel, ghosts, and poetry on her blog, Marvel + Moon. Trista is a contributing editor at Luna Luna Magazine.