That year we grew more and more
into our shared grief, hid in the ditch,
marred by snow-mold,
to drink bum wine,
then gossip about stars, mothers,
you-know-what. We rubbed beeswax
in our hair, watched our ends split.
On Sundays, we stared at the back
of the schoolteacher’s glowing head.
Sweat halo, no bigger than a mare’s
bite. After the lake thawed, and his body
surfaced, I heard his lips
were slightly open, as if in a calm,
permanent whisper. You heard this, too.