The tour guide does not stop, but the poets pause

 at a makeshift remembrance.


The footstone a weathered cherub asleep,

mottled-gray hands press a rounded baby cheek.

Curled among sun-bleached, plastic spider lilies

and yellowish daisies, this illusion

of softness and slumber is crowded

by a watercolor and a mystery item sheathed in filmy baggies.


The headstone a concrete bench

that will feel no stonecutter’s chisel.

Instead there is an invitation to write.

(As if any other request could have drawn the poets to this field

of silent-rowed strangers.)


We snap photos and scratch at our pads and mosquito bites,

sweating pens eager to scribe this Garden Center shrine

 into deeper meaning.


But it is already there, though perhaps less elegant than poets prefer,

an elegy in Sharpie written not in stone, but on it.


Bared-soul sentiment, simple

and as real as any rose quartz or grey granite stone:


She lived.

I loved her.

I remember.

I grieve.


Stepping gingerly amid plot and patch,

The poets move on, but take with them hushed knowledge

of a quiet quarter where love speaks

in semi-permanent ink.