Landscape with Child

The bats come on at dusk, playing between
the pine trunks, shadow puppets cast against

the lake’s silvering surface. I hold you: harp
and harpist, bodies bound. All day power-

lines above our heads sizzled in the heat,
a million insects sifting to the ground

in a shower of fine wings. Your absence
is impossible, unimaginable.

You can’t ever be gone from me—a prayer
I hold under my tongue like a dark pill

I’m afraid to swallow. Not like my friend’s
baby, not like the child lost in the river’s

teeth. Where is the bear I promised you
we’d see? We must look again tomorrow.

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