when my mother died I developed a burning desire to garden
as if I needed to splice myself with the Earth to survive
and if I’m being honest I was already familiar with the
temporary relief physical exhaustion allows—
I just wish it were enough. this became my religion:
gouging the Earth with each vehement spade
jolting the muscles that held her hand all day,
shouldered her worries when lifted into her chair,
and this chest that tendrilled its support through the winter.
I try to cement the grief down with my heel
as if I could expel it out of me and into the ground with enough harrowing.
but it comes back. I am stubborn. I repeat.
still, I replenish so much feeling so fast
even without a shovel I am always digging.
I have so much to give.
somewhere, a hole is drinking my grief to the pulp.
can a soul really contain this much?
it never stops;
an infinite hum. lulling. distended
Tyler Pufpaff is a writer and editor from Dallas, Texas now living in The Triad of North Carolina. He is the author of A Quarter Life and Editor-in-Chief of Variant Literature, a nonprofit publisher of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Coffin Bell, Boston Accent Lit, Crepe & Penn, Havik, perhappened and The Daily Drunk Mag among others.