by Amy Gerstler
My dresses huddle in their closet.
No histrionics, no tears. They’re undaunted,
unhaunted, since you disappeared.
Torture by laundry and mothball
is all I can offer them, though it’s Christmas.
And despite the holiday, there’s endless
wrestling on TV. Is that your nudge to me:
toughen up and roll with the punches?
Here on earth, another rough era is birthed.
Sea monsters burst from the surf,
through waves of what we’ve mistaken
for civilization. Any advice from the heights
where you’re exiled? Some flutter of succor
to dial back the angst to a dull roar? Though you
are no more, the onions you planted, shoved
underground, too, send shoots into this persistent
rain, feelers like little green racks of antlers. Your
bougainvillea’s ablaze with reds, magentas
and noisy finches. The maple tree lost her leaves,
then grew six inches. I’ll slip on my coat and hike
to the river, praying I see your image, fringed
by whitewater, in it. If I do, can you gift
me with savagery-management tips, or some
comforting sign, surreptitiously, via the mist?
"Update" by Amy Gerstler from THE BEST AMERICAN POETRY 2019, copyright © 2019 Simon & Schuster. Used by permission of the poet.