Because Tombur wants to draw an atlas
with every mark left by rising water,
every trail carved by every spider,
she spends her afternoons lineating
her pencils around the memories
of that unnamed corpse:
two lines for the canal, three for the bridge.
Trees stick figures in green.
Where in the vanished water to write
the dead? Where in these lines
to write his gravestone?
We know their names. Our neighbors
remember them. What we do not know
are the stories of why and how : stowed away, eclipsed, shrouded
in between the notes and rhythms
of maiming music.
We learn quickly—Tombur
and I. That offerings of blood do not suffice
for the saplings to take root.