After a Death

…they cut silhouettes and burned them to call back our frightened spirits. — Tu Fu

Cold again
I pour hot water
measure tea for the cup.

I leave the lights off
to test how strong
the daylight—
how much more
even rain-grey
we can work by.

In the corner window
a robin lands—
stands on the railing
a silhouette cut
among vines
of still-growing nasturtium

the red chest unseen
as if to not take away
the bright honey, red fork
of the last frost-lipped bloom

instead, he burns there
under ash wing
and flies— a streak of
red caught fire
once feet find air

before I turn back
still waiting for
the tea to darken
in my cup.

FREYA ROHN was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She recently received her MFA from the low-residency program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where she was a recipient of the Jason Wenger Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared previously in Cirque. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband and son.