Ceremony, late September
for Edgard Mercado (1970 – 2009)
I’m watching my words burn
through the night air, shaping a shell
that won’t be held to any ear.
At the far end of the pier, at the edge
of our forgotten, their shadows glancing
out across the water, I wrap the metal
railing with tenderness
while behind my eyes I undo you
from this place.
Loops of wool
dizzying the hands – an ancient
Greek rite in the face of no
other way: a plea for recognition.
Here is your name, your entering
year and this one that turns on you
in the form of a rope.
And here I am, repeating
the gesture, recasting its intent.
This poem originally appeared in L.E.S. Review, Winter 2012
Jaime Shearn Coan lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at The City College of NY. His poems have appeared in journals including Drunken Boat and The Portland Review and he has been awarded fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Saltonstall Arts Colony, and Poet’s House’s Emerging Poets Residency.