by William Matthews
Here comes the powdered milk I drank
as a child, and the money it saved.
Here comes the papers I delivered,
the spotted dog in heat that followed me home
and the dogs that followed her.
Here comes a load of white laundry
from basketball practice, and sheets
with their watermarks of semen.
And here comes snow, a language
in which no word is ever repeated,
love is impossible, and remorse....
Yet childhood doesn't end,
but accumulates, each memory
knit to the next, and the fields
become one field. If to die is to lose
all detail, then death is not
so distinguished, but a profusion
of detail, a last gossip, character
passed wholly into fate and fate
in flecks, like dust, like flour, like snow.
Death is not so distinguished.