Estuaries, salt marshes
shrill cry of seagulls
cyan blue sky
as if I couldn’t do it all alone
this elegy for brother Joe.
A Pierce County Sheriff’s patrol boat
cremains scattered during high tide
case numbers of the forgotten
childhood pictures in black and white
didn’t make many friends, a red tricycle
wooden rocking horse,
but this is an August Wednesday
I run to the refugee hut
run to the plum trees, Öcsi, little brother
dropout, began to deal drugs
married a couple of times,
three daughters and twin sons
notebook of memories, letter fragments
if you die, and nobody claims your body
a chaplain reading your name:
Martonfi, Joseph Frank (case #15-0971) Age 66,
Died June 4, 2015 in Tacoma
ringing a small bronze bell.
Is this your loved one?
Weren’t we here? And, you here too?
It’s a small space that boat
poetry for your absence.