Sky Burial

He spun out of control,
hit “send,” released his final words
to forty friends through fiber optic
threads of spider silk.

Silent at our screens,
we scanned the “to” list, mostly strangers,
hit “reply” and fanned our strands of grief
to forty distant points.

We wove our threads of loss, regret,
cocooned, unraveled, knotted ends-
translucent web the strength and span
to lift him back to light.

By now the news had spread,
so more had joined to add their threads
five hundred count, a parachute
too late to break his fall.

But still we counter gravity;
fists clenching silk, we pitch our weight,
the drum-taut sheet
now casting our friend

Melissa Reeve