Because people construct their coffins now,
abandon your beliefs before the grave,
and tell your youth to hold the cold near them.
Dirt cannot ever take what you let go.
Arms and hands open with the weight of death,
so holding yourself will not keep you warm.
A forest’s interior is witness:
Somewhere, an oak has fallen in the night,
away from its station of branches arched.
Rain drips from limbs into the sucking dark,
the same black hole that swallows us all once,
and from it, perhaps, a shrub will ascend.
Joshua Eric Williams is an MFA candidate at Western State Colorado University. His work has appeared in Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Eclectic, Panoplyzine, and Illustrated Poetry. He lives with his wife, Kimberly, in Gunnison, Colorado.