We drive up to the graveyard
on the hill toward the top
of town just to see the evening
sun. “I don’t think people
call them graveyards anymore,”
you say. You say, “I think
a graveyard is part of a church.
People buried in the yard
of a church.” I suppose you’re right.
This is not a church, but it’s not
without ritual. We drive up
to the cemetery filled with
graves on the hill toward
the top of town. A new section
has been cleared of trees,
a toothless pocket ready
to be filled. We park and
pretend the sun will set beyond
the ridges spilled with green
into the ocean instead of more
Midwest. Turkey vultures circle
in the pines, their shifting like
a sail’s dry flap in a falling wind.
Below we watch three deer leap
headstones and then open space
making for the redrawn edge
of the cemetery separating something
from something from something.
Patrick Swaney lives in Athens, OH, where is completing a PhD in poetry. He is the editor of Quarter After Eight. His work has appeared in Conduit, Indiana Review, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere.