by Caroline Tanski

Lend me that shovel. I’ll dig a garden
here in October to winter the roots

you left behind. The taste of tomato, the basil
leaf on the deck at Fifth Street, nine-dollar

beers at Fenway in July, your scarred right
ear. Your hand claiming the small of my back

when we stood in line for coffee Sundays,
your Levis, India Quality

in Kenmore. The symphony in winter
and 11:30 walks. The children

we won’t have. I’ll dig the furrows deep,
straight, in the dirt where you are not. Trust

to the earth these last things, these only mine
things, and maybe by spring they’ll surprise me.

Unfold leaves and buds between my bare toes
this garden that won’t even smell like you.


About the Author

Caroline Tanski edits, writes, and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in burntdistrict, Noctua Review, and Knee Jerk. She earned her MFA from Chatham University and will soon beat a retreat to New England, where she was raised.