Visiting the Dead

Their houses are built from smoke and clouds,
empty rocking chairs on their porches pushed by the wind,
their names tattooed into mailboxes by needles of rain.
The addresses can't quite be read.
We come to visit them,
calling out as the bell rings silently,
"Mother, Grandfather, Friend?"
But they will not answer.
The doors of their rooms are all closed,
and the windows open.
                          So we leave
the way we came, closing the gate,
walking past the neat white picket fences
behind which a black dog is always barking,
past the rows of bright flowers rooted into the air.
(kz 1995)
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