by Mary Romero

for Walter Lumpkin

When L. died, the coffin stayed closed.
He wasn’t going to resurrect that day,

didn’t want to, having read the desert
fathers and looked forward to the rest.

But that day the sun leaned so low
over its podium that it touched

its finger to the earth, a lit match.
Then the horizon smoked purple

and even the cold grass warmed,
grew fragrant, became – like everything

L. touched – an invitation to step
closer to the flame, barefoot, believing.