Nobody follows me into the dead black tree
that holds still the whole forest.
They tend to pause so long
in the weightlessness of its periphery,
enraptured by immediacy,
partaking in an easy song.
I cannot blame them.
I too ache to be the vanishing marks
the tallest trees rake into the sky.
But before we leave each morning I
first study that photo
of an empty yellow raincoat
that knew a body
when I took it
and each time I pause upon the edges
of clarity and think
this is all I am trying to speak
the empty yellow raincoat replies
It is not the absence
but the body your mirage.
It is in the strenuous song
engaging as much the dark
the whole sky will be still.
John Sibley Williams
Staci M. Cole
notes on the process