Sara Lynn Eastler

The Unpassing

yew trees sink their spirits into Hades
rise back up each spring
let their dead fall unburied
and decomposed
to fatten the next generation
I have so much to give
I already gave it to you

without a vessel I wander incorporeal hungry
unable to cross Hecate’s liminal space
or the trimorphic crossroads she guards
there’s no touch
no chance for pilgrimage in this formless state

so each day I wait,
and want
to smudge an empty calendar box with blood
to document time’s unpassing

in this version, I saved you from him
from restraints that broke your will and pills
oh the pills … morning, noon, and night
attagirl, swallow
it’s for your own good
and show us your tongue
in this version I saved you from the violence
the cocktail hours that melted into bruises
your dreamy blue-eyed crooner scratched
from the basement vinyl
as he cursed
wrote his sermons, gulped down gin
the scarves you bandaged around your neck
Hepburn sunglasses, gone!

on the day you were to meet
I pushed him off the path
spat Willie Peter in his eye
he never saw you on campus
you never heard his clarinet waiver
between a kiss and a sigh

I surrendered my own existence for you
now I may never exist to you

the yews reincarnate
all trees eat their own
and live forever

I linger here at Hecate’s gate
no one to place a coin in my mouth
no one to lace my mouth with poison