Poem of the Week: "The Consolations"

My homegirl is dropping hot fire on her blog, as usual, and, on today's post, I got name-checked. She used a line from a poem that I had sent her as an epigraph for another one of her thoughtful/powerful essays. The name of the poem is The Consolations, and, if I can trick Carnegie Mellon into publishing another of my books (if I ever get the stupid thing finished), it'll be the title poem. There are actually two versions of the poem, one that's bleak, that's beyond consolation, and one that's a little hopeful. Both versions, under the same title, will be in the book, the bleak one to start and the hopeful one as  the last poem in the book. Here are the first two stanzas of the bleak version.

The Consolations

There were none. There is a box
in the earth. Inside that box,
is my brother. How
can there be consolation?

Poetry. I tell myself, Poetry,
it can save you. It has, before.
Let it save you
. How weak poetry is,
how insufficient,
how incapable. Words,
they are just words. Stacks
of them, and they may sound beautiful,
but they are just words.
How could I have fooled myself?