Today I stood before your ivy grave
and rained sunflower seeds upon
the soil above your bones.
I baked in your oily, oval sun
until it sank like a shimmering coin
toward a distant slot of horizon.
Crouching in your angry cornfield,
sky blackened with cawing crows,
I felt the self-damning slug
piercing your granite belly,
crippling your will to live.
The little yellow house in which
you dreamed of communion
no longer welcomes your
creative poverty; those who
faced your vulgar rants
have long since fled.
But your gravel roads still crunch
beneath my shoes; the wide scythe
of the Rhône still arcs past
medieval rooftops, blown
bitter by mistral screams
from the jagged Alpilles.
You are not in one place, but many.
In simmering, dusty fields, your
wild wheat eyes hunt like hawks.
In abandoned courtyards, the gray
ash of your extinguished body
grips gnarled roots of cyprus and olive.
Your voice is the weeping wind;
each morning's breath, your breath—
heard more in death than when
the quarry of your anguished spirit
nourished the world.