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On the way back from Halifax
we received word that Carlos had died/
carnations

Kim Garcia





diving into a pool, while his friends looked on, breaking his neck.
Pale blossoms, each balanced on a single jointed stem

My book was open to a poem by Roethke. The alders bowed.
And leaves curled back in elaborate Corinthian scrolls

My own son was in Berlin, beginning to mourn for the first time,
the air cool, as if drifting down from wet hemlocks,

Would we ever get him back? We were drifting,
or rising out of ferns not far from water—

nothing could be decided. We looked at the sea, clear of fog,
a crisp hyacinthine coolness.

Then as we drove up to the cottage the whales came
like that clear autumnal weather of eternity

On another day we would have said, what good luck! Oh Carlos,
The windless perpetual morning above a September cloud.


Kim Garcia
lives and writes in Boston. Her poetry collection Madonna Magdalene was published by Turning Point Books in 2006. Her work has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Rosebud, Nimrod, Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Brightleaf, Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops, Negative Capability, and Lullwater Review, among others. She is the recipient of the 2004 Ursula LeGuin Prize, the 2002 Willard R. Espy Award, an AWP Intro Writing Award, a Hambidge Fellowship and an Oregon Individual Artist Grant. She teaches creative writing at Boston College. Madonna Magdalene is available through Turning Point Books, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.