Odd that earlier we existed,
felt our own substance before
disappearing to despair,
sometimes gone by nightfall.
We may linger awhile but
the lamp will be snuffed out—
and unless we steel ourselves
to loss, our own and more,
moons will dispel around us
like a vase of flowers with wilted
stems sinking into cloudy water—
then we will lose our grasp.
Surely, this early today, there
remain the skins of opaque ghosts
not yet torn from our ribs
though we may remember the feel
of yesterday’s body extinguished
in our blood, lingering at daylight.
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college Over 300 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world is generally her framework; she also considers the stories of people and places around her. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.