Cole Swensen


In Augustine’s time it was more likely the livingwho reached out to touch

nothing, which broken-heartedthe dead were thoughtto know everything
suspended in the middleof the storyshe would wake up stretching

her arms out so far they would hurtand still the dead remain
indeterminate and coldand Augustine had to tell themno

andGod is slow andthe face you see at the window
is your ownfrom a long way offwhich is what it's like

to be dead. Augustine wentso far as to write an essay titled How to Help the Dead
which helda candle in the burning handas the cradlewent up in snow