Today, it is not the shape of a bell, though I think of bells sounding
somewhere in the distance as we left you—each sound wave rippling
to the next: the shape of singing. Nor is it round, though round
is an echo: shape of the chamber, the bullet, the hole bored through skin.
It is not, now, the sign you drew across your body, your hands tracing—
again and again—a prayer: Deliver me, Lord, from mine enemies.
And though it haunts me, the shape of loss is not the chalked outline,
simulacrum on the pavement, on the report—an X each place
your life seeped out. Today, the fig tree in winter stopped me.
Limned in snow, the dark tree mimicked its shadow, twinned
branches curving inward, a nest of bones. For a moment I watched
the bright cardinal perch there, then beat its wings in flight.