after John Ashbery
A coyote pack yipped and yowled in the dark to coordinate their hunt.
Suddenly, they went mute: the chill had caught voices in their throats.
The night she died, my great-grandmother complained she was cold.
She had howled for years for my great-grandfather, in the hope
he was sweeping bougainvillea, trimming the front hedge in moonlight.
She caught me holding the clippers upside-down as he did. I had no idea.
I wonder if she saw me or him standing there that moment, holding them.
I woke to a quiet that icicled down my throat—no chance of a word.
The polished past, slid open, was a clear night in an aluminum frame.
Jonathan Yungkans is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA in Poetry from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in Anastamos, High Shelf Press, West Texas Literary Journal and other publications. His poetry chapbook, Colors the Thorns Draw, was released by Desert Willow Press in August 2018.