Elegy for Sylvia H.’s Episodes

Our darkness calmly wakes. Walking, it lifts
her blind-bright seascape dream away, its grey crane
cable spooling around her neck. It lives,
despite what kind of accident the coroner
might’ve called her belly full of perfume: every laugh
is still dry straw. I disrobe the Crown
Royal. I tap out qué será será on the leaf
of my Sunday crossword for her ghost in the corner.
As I watch a sill-pigeon peck and loft,
I remember clam beds, sandpipers, calm
ripples—not a still shadow in sight—where, left
with our shadow-selves, a lone whooping crane
high-steps the mangrove’s edge, stalking the live
link between dream-burst of sun and dark incarnate.

Rachel Edelman grew up in Memphis, graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and taught environmental education in Maine and Colorado before settling, for now, in Seattle. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, Day One, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, Typo, and other journals. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Washington, where she teaches creative writing.