Fugue for the Sky Burial of Your Father

M.K. Foster

Because he lived above the tree line, they could not
        burn him. They could not

bury him because the ground would not break. So they
        stitched him into his bedclothes,
carried him up the mountain, and let the bodybreakers
        do the rest, let them

carve arm from arm from torso from arm from torso from
        leg and leg and

leave the rest intact, leave his body broken beneath
        the sky, and leave
and send word to you that, because a body is always broken in
        more ways than the eye sees, someone you loved

had died and you need to collect the rest of his things, that you
need to solve for empty shirt, broken glass, empty
        hands, fields of years

frozen silent in their sleep— If stasis had a better name,
        you would know what to do.

If white noise meant any shade other than the stone dark of
        a closed eye, you would
remember that a hammer can also build, a shoulder can also
        hold, nightshade can wake,

you would remember the swollen song the body sings to itself
        as it stitches itself back together

in sleep. And you would sleep. You would let the train
        that carries you home carry you
past the forests that were not there to burn, over the ground
        that could not break—

You lay your head against the window until it becomes
        a glass chest breathing sky. You say,
if there is a chest, it is his chest.