The Mariana Trench
The day you were buried it was ten degrees,
the ground cover a shroud of snow.
The minister was late, searching
for soil soft enough to toss into your grave.
She arrived with clay red and icy,
offered it to the mourners.
My hand, ungloved and raw, picked out a chunk,
threw it into the hole.
It landed on your coffin
with a thud.
From my pocket I drew out
a bag of ground coffee—
for we never took a trip without a thermos of coffee--
and for a time I joined you,
seven miles down into the sea,
into the deepest hole on earth,
where I drifted in darkness and silence,
wounds burning in the salty frigid waters
Originally appeared in Glacial Hills Review, Summer 2023.