for the girl who bought me a poison apple

we honour our dead by burying them,
with a mixture of awe
and the desire to conceal,
to place death in a glass box
that we can visit on rainy days
when depression and cold hands have already
overtaken us

as children we would
strangle goldfish in ceramic toilet
bowls, mice in half-empty margarine containers
still soft with the crevices made
from plastic picnic knives and wandering
fingertips,
and fashion elaborate burial rites
for ants your sister burned
with the help of a malicious sun
and your father's reading glasses

once, i tired to bury
a strand of your hair, and you
the last piece of bubble gum
that the heat had fastened
to the inside pocket of my jeans
and we grappled with skinny arms in the grass,
wrapped in the shadows of the afternoon,
just to have something else to kill
so that we could bury that too.