Pre-threnody (before you go)

I don’t want anything of his when he is gone. Not a damned thing.
We didn’t talk for 20 years, and now he tells me stories. He tells me things about my mother I never knew, and I tuck them away like perfumed handkerchiefs in small drawers. I may never open them again, but they are there, preserved for posterity. Someone will want them and treasure them. Or someone careless will throw them in the trash.

Advertisements

Florence

Remember when no one could touch us?
You were Superman
I was Wonder Woman
and cape, candles, and
a length of rope
were all we needed

Love at first sight?
I grabbed at you
like in a haunted house
frantic and wasteful
horrific in its lies
but she will not have you
my right to be here
is grandfather’d in

I remember when we arrived here
such hopes consumed me–
I tried to love you, my idea of you
my vision of us, your selfish words, and
my selfish plans coated with expectation
left us in the dust

And now I think I will die here
and never see Paris
or the Thames
never throw my wishes into the fountain
I will die here
and never see Rome
or eat figs from a tree in Sicily
and Florence is just a lady on t.v.

Conversations: (why) don’t you trust me

I was told to open up
I was asked to show my real face

/don’t you trust me yet/

(no. But I can’t tell you that. You might be dangerous.)

/what is the real you/

[what are you wearing] Really? That?

please, don’t.

/show me/

Lana del Rey is crooning about Summertime from the other room while I have clicked on a poet I never read before, reading about her grief. The two meet somewhere between rooms and I imagine them as performance art. I write something to that effect on Twitter. Ten minutes later I get embarrassed. I delete it.

I show you a picture of an animal in a trap.

/ I don’t get it/

Then why ask to see it? Why ask for transparency without a measure of mercy and understanding in your pockets?

/show me more/

You’re a sadist, aren’t you?

/don’t you trust me?/

(no)

[should I?]

I don’t know.


Your Loss, part 12

airplane.jpg

If you are just beginning the story, start  here

“Sir? What flight?”

The woman at the desk was brusque and impatient. The line was getting longer by the minute. She didn’t look at or speak to Petra.

“2 adults to Lisbon.”

She prepared their tickets and stamped them, her eyes boring into Roberts’ eyes as they were slid across the counter with immaculately groomed and sharpened red claws. She seemed to notice Petra for the first time and eyed them both close and tight. Robert took the tickets and dipped his hat, turning to walk away with a hand at Petra’s back. “90 minutes.”

He could feel the shape of a target in the middle of his back as they made their way to the gate. They didn’t stop at a lavatory or a café.  They walked until they reached the gate, then they sat down.

Continue reading “Your Loss, part 12”

I thought death had better manners

death-2024663_1280

 

 

A shadow fell across me
and the shelves of canned tomatoes
before me at the local market
someone breathing–heavy enough
close enough to feel it upon my neck

I moved an obligatory two steps
toward the green beans
but the shadow moved with me
like the mouth-breathers from
middle school

I made a quick move to leave the aisle
when a black-robed figure
skirted around me, knocking off
half a dozen cans
with a garden tool

Finally in line, with my 2 cans
of pizza sauce and a rotisserie chicken
I saw the black robe putting groceries
on the conveyor, and when he turned
his head I saw it was the grim reaper

I said, “Hey man–how come
you have 32 items in the express lane?”
Everything stopped. The store
was shrouded in silence. The cashier
looked at me in horror

Death’s hand stopped in mid-air
holding a box of Corn Pops.
“You know,” I said
“That stuff’ll kill you.”

 


from 2015
image by pixabay.com

Your Loss, pt. 11

1940's airport

The beginning of the story

One day in London turned into Petra and Robert replaying the good parts of Niagara Falls. The first two days were spent fasting, and nearly dehydrating, in their hotel room. On the third day Petra and Robert ventured out, finding their way to a restaurant, and then to a racetrack, somewhere Petra could place a bet. It could have been anywhere, but Robert did love the horses. They got his heart racing in a way that nothing else could with the exception of the roulette table. Petra went along with it without much to say. She could live without gambling for once– the entire escapade a gamble, whether they lived or died, together or alone.

Continue reading “Your Loss, pt. 11”

You in a country song

I shouldn’t be wanderin’
where I could be mashed or burned
or scalded or set out to dry

I should be looking upwards and outwards
at scaled mountains, fields, and
a cloudy, unforgiving sky

She said, ‘I’m leavin’’ and
she wouldn’t be beholden to anyone
not even my old soul

I said, well, if you must
but every step you take means less of us
and I wonder how I will get through

I should be wanderin’ in your hair,
I should be running after, and
I should be holdin’ you

Harping on a theme (too soon)

Scene from 1983:

Me: I don’t think I’ll live to be 25.
Mom: Don’t say that.

1997
7 a.m.  on a Sunday morning :

Dad on phone: She’s gone.
Me: It’s too soon. Don’t say that.

It was you, it was you
gone too soon
so cliché
pardon me if I don’t
come up with
golden lines
at times like this

I would say you were
ripped from us
but it was more like
a fade-to-black
with screaming
your face melting
into the wallpaper

Don’t go yet
it was supposed to be me
hanging out with Peter and Paul
you, oh you
were supposed to earn
your old age in your rooms
in your house
beneath the pines

“Too long ago to write death fresh like this.”

 

Some kind of b.s.

typewritten bukowski

 

 

He said that I was trying to copy Bukowski, but I said ‘that’s bullshit’, after all, I barely drink, and my typewriter drops off the top of all the letters. You know I got that typewriter from my mother’s house after she died, but I pretend that it is the one that she bought me when I was 18 and she started to believe in my writing. That was the year I threw all my poems in the trash and she fished them out. She gave them to me three years later, before I left again, and I thanked her. At 55, they are an accusation, but I still have them. I think it is important to let the magpies tell you off now and then. If the path is too wide and amicable, I lose my groove and start listening to smooth jazz instead of Miles Davis. You know Mr. Davis, he’s the one that brought me back from the ledge.

 

 

Your loss, pt 9

plane

The beginning of the story

Petra and Robert were less than two hours in the air, but it felt like more. Petra had been nearly killed, but it didn’t cause her the personal agony the hours did while flying next to him. Robert was polite. He let her sit by the window. He stood when she needed to walk about the plane. He ordered her a drink. God knew they both needed one. He was insistent that this ‘talk’ they were going to have was not going to be in public. He was not going to be standing in front of the world while she removed the dagger from his gut that she had left there in Niagara Falls.

Continue reading “Your loss, pt 9”