The path of broken stems through the garden
where I picked you up and carried you to the car,
your sock hat lost in the squash, purple buds
spotting the lilacs, and tomatoes ripe in their cages—
how I imagine it happening, my perfect intervention,
from last attack through your long recovery
to you pulling weeds again in your white overalls,
your body out the window framed in a single pane—
how neither of us would have wanted it,
a year lost to sitting by your bedside,
neither of us certain enough to smile
when your hand pinched my wrist—
how I imagine it is not how it happens,
a mess of vines, in my absence a sudden shout.
Kevin Oberlin is the author of one chapbook, Spotlit Girl (2008). His poems have appeared in various journals including The Centrifugal Eye, Pilgrimage, Verse Wisconsin, and Pank. He lives in Cincinnati, OH.