In This Poem It Is Not Winter
In this poem the police do not come to our door with dogs for your clothes.
In this poem the valley does not crawl with navy lines of men beating the snow drifts with sticks.
In this poem white banks below streetlamps fill only with light.
In this poem we do not hang your face on the wall in case you return and we have forgotten it.
In this poem, you graduate.
In this poem there is nothing luminous about you. You major in econ and get wicked drunk on weekends.
In this poem you can be a real asshole. No one canonizes you.
In this poem no one tries to reconstruct you with when or where or what you wore or timelines or
taking statements or tracking or your shoes or your mother or her desperate mouth or the tiles in our
shower or fucking without crying or cheap liquor or the divers or the trees or where that night or that
night or that night after night after night after night after night
In this poem your body is just a body.
In this poem, when we get laid we do not look out the window to see if your body is watching.
In this poem I never come home to find your body on the bed, full of black glass and wet leaves.
In this poem your body does not stand over us while we sleep. It does not hold its handfuls
of green water and wait for us to open our mouths.
In this poem, when we say I love you we do not mean please drink my grief with me.
In this poem we do not drain the river. We do not fill it with whiskey or return to it over and over
to rehearse your death.
In this poem there is nothing to search for.
In this poem the willow puts its hands into the river and pulls you out.
by C.F. Sibley
C. F. Sibley is an Assistant Editor at Parnassus: Poetry in Review and the Translation Editor for the Columbia Journal Online. Her poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Bone Bouquet, and Powder Keg. She received a scholarship to attend Breadloaf Writers' Conference in 2012, holds a BA from Middlebury College, and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University. She lives in Inwood.