Gravestones

time is cruel to gravestones, 
dirt gets strewn on the granite, 
ants make homes in the rainwater-clogged vases. 
this monument to the dead is as vulnerable as the dead.
I come and clean the ants away, 
drown them in bottled water, 
scrub the dry mud from the letters of
your one unspeakable name. 
this is what a woman does: 
kneel on a godless earth and 
wash wash wash, 
make new the aged stone, 
breathe in the broken glass of her grief.