Tuesday, March 15, 2016

If I knew the answer

I hear Dion sing--Abraham, Martin, and John

and a shallow spell of tears flips me  

on my back.

Shallow because my soul is wrung 

out. The chill, the rain, the unmoving 

fog, the absence of life in the house, 

all the empty rooms, especially

this room, the master room, 

the sleeping room with the corner 

that stares me down, the corner

where he died, all this opens 

valves and the cruel truths

creep in to fill

the empty space with more 

emptiness, to split me

open like a honeydew.

He had a strong, true heart 

but no more power 

than a flower.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Write me a letter

The letters I find 

in the drawer. 

Simple words pink as peonies. 

I hold them to my cheek

Thank you for being my wife.

They hush me. 

Your letters. 

Your letters. 


He is sick. His kidneys impede

him, worse, they poison him.

But still on warm afternoons he sits

on the porch looking out at the flesh

of olive trees, of humming birds and drifts

into the tenderness of our wind chimes.

He still is flesh. He has warm hands

that can hold things, an iced tea.

On his lap Esquire magazine. 

He is still flesh. Alert, thirsty,

he has hunger.

Body and soul sit on the porch, 

still alive,

still together. 


Again, it's that night again.

He's breathing softly once again.

That mustard breath of earth 

around this room again, the water 

spilling from my eyes again, 

that start and stop and start


and here's the priest to say 

again, you and I are dying, too, 

my dear,

he is only dying faster.

I hear those words again.

I hear them now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Back in the day

Those sweet mornings I wake up 
to everything or nearly that, 
close enough,
and know it's nearly everything, 
know it trembling, in gratitude, 
too modest by nature 
to ask for anything more, having had less, 
much less, 
I sit at the table at Al's, famous for 
big plates--
Denver omelettes with hash browns served 
on turkey platters--
facing him, my handsome newly-wed 
who reaches across the table and cups 
my hand in his two 
as if mine were a butterfly he captured, 
cupping it so carefully 
not wanting to harm it, 
and there are no words, 
having no room to form 
in our hyper-satisfied brains, 
we don't speak or move
until steaming platters set down 
and our hands return to our own bodies. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nobody here

He not only lived here 
inside this house, 
he was this house, 
in fact remains here even now
inside this house. 
When I enter, I enter him.
I feel the air move in all directions, 
I feel him fill the space like light 
when I flick the switch. 
He is not sad or angry 
though his body curled up
like burning paper, 
right here inside this house.  
That night I felt his soul pause 
and then slip into these walls 
as if into the folds of a thick drape.
He did not rush away from this 
weak animal life 
but when I speak to him
there's no answer--he cannot answer, 
how could he without tongue and throat?
The murmurs of wind through windows, 
through cracks in these walls, they soothe me, 
sometimes fool me but they are not him, 
he lives in a world of thoughts
and thoughts are soundless.
You might say such silence means 
nobody's here. 
But I feel him as I feel myself 
within and around 
this house