To allow silence
To admit it in us
always moving
Just past
senses, the darkness
What swallows us
and we live amongst
What lives amongst us
*
These grim anchors
That brief sanctity
the sea
Cast quite far
when you seek
—in your hats black
and kerchiefs—
to bury me
*
Do not weep
but once, and a long
time then
Thereafter eat till
your stomach spills over
No more! you'll cry
too full for your eyes
to leak
*
The words will wait
*
Place me in a plain
pine box I have been
for years building
It is splinters
not silver
It is filled of hair
*
Even the tongues
of bells shall still
*
You who will bear
my body along
Spirit me into the six
Do not startle
at its lack of weight
How light
 
Copyright 2011 by Kevin Young. Reprinted from Dear Darkness with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Poems by This Author

For the Confederate Dead by Kevin Young
These are the last days
The Dry Spell by Kevin Young
Waking early
Urgent Telegram to Jean-Michel Basquiat by Kevin Young
HAVENT HEARD FROM YOU IN AGES STOP LOVE YOUR


Further Reading

Poems About Tragedy and Grief
"My True Love Hath My Heart and I Have His"
by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
Adonais, 49-52, [Go thou to Rome]
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Hamlet, Act III, Scene I [To be, or not to be]
by William Shakespeare
Against Elegies
by Marilyn Hacker
Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100
by Martín Espada
Arise, Go Down
by Li-Young Lee
Assault to Abjury
by Raymond McDaniel
Before
by Carl Adamshick
Breaking Across Us Now
by Katie Ford
Curtains
by Ruth Stone
Day of Grief
by Gerald Stern
Dear Lonely Animal,
by Oni Buchanan
December, 1919
by Claude McKay
Easter 1916
by W. B. Yeats
Facing It
by Yusef Komunyakaa
Fairbanks Under the Solstice
by John Haines
here rests
by Lucille Clifton
Hum
by Ann Lauterbach
I Can Afford Neither the Rain
by Holly Iglesias
I Found Her Out There
by Thomas Hardy
I measure every Grief I meet (561)
by Emily Dickinson
I Pack Her Suitcase with Sticks, Light the Tinder, and Shut the Lid
by Rob Schlegel
Imagine
by Kamilah Aisha Moon
In Louisiana
by Albert Bigelow Paine
Lycidas
by John Milton
Memorial Day for the War Dead
by Yehuda Amichai
On His Deceased Wife
by John Milton
Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Pretty Polly
by Jane Springer
Quiet Mourning
by Laura Moriarty
Requiescat
by Matthew Arnold
Richard Cory
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Rose Aylmer
by Walter Savage Landor
September 1, 1939
by W. H. Auden
Song ["When I am dead, my dearest"]
by Christina Rossetti
Stillbirth
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Surprised By Joy
by William Wordsworth
That This
by Susan Howe
The Dead
by Joan Aleshire
The Gaffe
by C. K. Williams
The Hour and What Is Dead
by Li-Young Lee
The Not Tale (Funeral)
by Caroline Bergvall
The Second Coming
by W. B. Yeats
The Stolen Child
by W. B. Yeats
The Widow's Lament in Springtime
by William Carlos Williams
The Words Under the Words
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Tigers
by Melissa Ginsburg
To W.C.W. M.D.
by Alfred Kreymborg