Cold Sand before the Fire

by Diane Wald

Not sure if the buck in the rose garden is a sign
or a just buck in the rose garden.  He raises

his velvet antlers as if he were ready
to lift and stir those petals into ambrosia.

When I heard about your dying of course I cried.
I sat on your lap once; it was quite chaste,

a nightride in a truck with a handful of others,
a full moon, bourbon, yes maybe another buck —

and we all rode out to the black ocean,
in spite of all that had been said about you,

with silver stars in our pockets, water on one side,
fire on the other.  The sand on our feet like melted ice

in front of the blazing woods.