I just never learned to not look back.
I had to see that face one last time
to know, for sure, that it was her hand
I was holding as we approached the grove,
the sunlight shifting in the olive branches.

I turned reflexively and ossified my wife to salt,
my gaze upon her cursing all my hopes
to tears. She who was all that was best in me
frozen there with her hand reaching out for mine,
her eyes turned downward to the blackened ground.

And so each time she is lost to me, I must
regather my strength and repeat the ordeal,
descending again into the darkened world below,
understanding the fate that lies ahead of me,
but knowing I must face it anyway.

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