Eli Coyle

Cancer arrived in your house
under the cloud cover of rain
blotting May across paper hearts

I tended to the thoughts of you as morning glory
blooming from the rounded hills
of green mounded graves

Watching as the leafs floated and filled
with water in the rainstorms
leaking chemo from tea bags

I let you die over and over
each month every moon 

They cut your breasts from you
under the morning shadows of October

I wasn’t there for you
for all the faces
stoned in the flickering

Looking for clear water
in the pink pastels
printing ribbons on cotton tees

We are only just entities
filling bowls,
dust and spirit 

I am still the budding child
trapped in the body
of a red maple

You are still the child, too
untethered in a celestial cave
resisting the freeing of reservoirs 

The going out and coming in
the violins next to your name 

I am still processing
the constellations 

These cornfields of San Joaquin
these cells hiding in the husks
of tiny frozen fevers

Offering the seasons another ending
another passing in the months
of celestial bodies 

My moon in Pisces,
and yours, brittle stars and urchins,
unspoken in Cancer’s sky 

Beneath the morning shadows
of pink October,
your earth turning under new light 

About the Author

Eli Coyle received his MA in English from California State University, Chico, and is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno. His poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in: Barely South Review, New York Quarterly, Caustic Frolic, Tule Review, Camas, the Cosumnes River Journal, Deep Wild, the Helix, and elsewhere.