for days, weeks, maybe longer, and his absence
will astonish me each time I open his closet door
and see the orphaned shoes shined and lined
with a two-way stretcher and I will admire once
again his tidy ways
when he's gone I will forget his grumblings
and inward leanings,
the pelican legs slathered and festooned to the bed,
the anxiety and tears as mettle and firmness
flow out of him.
I will forget these scraps of the man,
the lips that curl in fury,
all will be forgotten
and in their place there will be silence and air,
swollen and still. There will be strangeness.
When he’s gone I will only remember the laughter
and pillow fights, his 40th birthday, his cummerbund flashing.
All things I have trouble remembering now during
this long endurance, this slow annihilation,
these long days of our misfortune.
But when he’s gone, I will be asking for help--the coming
desolation can’t be lived alone.When he is gone, I will think of his confiding eyes,
they were my heart's oasis.