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  • Gary Hunter

To my neighbor, Marta - Oct. 16, 2021

after you die

you’ll be reborn

in the spotlight of memory

and a chiseler will double check

his sketch before grinding out

your letters and numbers

and I'll remember white teeth

and a pile of vermillion hair

greeting me at your front door

as a bobcat scoops

your casket sways

the dirt is pounded smooth

someone mentions you

a month later an Austrian

accent tickles my thoughts

by then spores of moss

have discovered

the headstone’s grooves

closet-cleaning I find a box

pictures of you at the lake

boyfriend wine white teeth

your marker settles

leans its green script

towards the brown earth

twenty sixth-gear years

I think of calling you

the Dodgers just won

winters go by

followed by spring rains

weeds splinter your name

one day I try to recall

the smell of your bedroom

old world rose and heather?

endless seasons of weather

till another presence

is erased from the earth

who will know

there was a you

in 100 500 1,000 years?

mountain to dust

dust to mountain

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