a poem a day for a year #63

I just waited until you were dead to talk about you again

huddling against brick back alley
behind the bar with the troubled people
who drank my sunshine like whiskey
like water

tell me again about her
was this your mother they would say
eyes all crazy and wide
no no no
she was just my friend
older friend

she died yesterday

while I sat in a bustling bright white restaurant
eating mussels white wine delicate food
her last tiny movements happened
as I laughed and laughed
and drank Stella Artois in enormous glasses
after my shift
my mouth so wide and happy
hiding my cowardice

I would have given her all of the money I had then
all of my things
anything to make her better
we did reiki and stones and runes
and all the poison dripped into her for two years
we prayed by fire and drank vodka on her door stoop
late at night
like immortal gargoyles
but nothing was going to make her better
and when she was worse
I could not give her my light anymore
I hid it under a bushel
of tears

I was afraid of death
turns out
I still am
and every winter
when Spring lifts up her dress for a moment
when it is warm against the frozen world
when we feel a tease in Ohio
when green pushes up the dirt
and we all forget our coats in the car

I think about her
in the bottom of the world
in the bright blue sky



for L