Stone (at a lover’s grave)

Her husband turned to the afterlife when

something incurable found a way to him,

prepared for things that soon might go on

somewhere beyond his body, even bought

two plots hoping his wife would one day

join him. And after he passed she arrived


at the cemetery each day, ready to seed

the loose, dark earth in prayer, engaging

in her own funerals over the vacancy at

his side—until the soil where they’d sleep

forever was washed in every empty answer.

There’s a churchyard in us all we keep alive,


wicks we light, angels we purchase to polish

the grounds of our past, other days digging

to a smooth surface—Until we meet again,

their stone says. It’s a date, the unsigned end

signing some new romance she can’t refuse.

There are things that won’t wash away even


if they wash away, and it’s hard to turn down

a heaven the love of your life has left you,

to give away the gift of a grave. Sometimes

it’s pure hell waiting for a name, wondering

who you’ll meet again when you meet again,

what was cured, if it matters. Sometimes.

George Bishop’s work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly & Lindenwood Review. Forthcoming work will be featured in Pirene’s Fountain. He is the author of seven chapbooks. Bishop won the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize at YellowJacket Press for his chapbook Following Myself Home and was a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. He attended Rutgers University and now lives in Saint Cloud, Florida.