Worst winter in quite a while:
the guy who delivered our calor gas
was frantic, rushed off his feet.
“Never been so busy. And the other
boy I work with’s went and got
himself arrested — driving without
a licence.” We sympathised while
he put the gas in our heater and
then he ran down the stairs to his
van, too busy to be cold.
The living room warmed
by the oven, door open, grumbling
of gas; we’ll sleep in here
tonight, on the couch that
folds down, duvets brought through
from the bedroom where we could
see our breath. My wife asleep
already, ferocious body warming
the duvets; me in a chair, reading,
in a tartan scarf and red ski hat.
#poetry #zen #love #marriage
you lie on the bed like sunlight
sunlight on the wings of birds
no, you don’t
(this is why poetry is rarely to be trusted:
unable to accept things as they are
it has to turn them into things they are not)
you lie on the bed like yourself
yourself lying naked on a bed
and to compare you to anything else
would be to make you less than you are
#poetry #sex #love #zen
It is almost exactly ten years
since we shared drunken kisses
in an unheated bar
in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Later that night, drunker still,
a kiss broke into laughter
when we rolled off my bed
and fell to the floor.
Ten years later: you
still in Tennessee, in Nashville, me
in Phoenix, Arizona. A catch-up
conversation: You told me about
your kidney transplants, addiction
to pain medication, recovery,
getting engaged, breaking it off,
buying a house, rescuing dogs,
travelling, getting happy.
“I learned a lot and am so not afraid
of things. It’s pretty great!” you wrote.
You said your health was the best
it had ever been, and we laughed
about the new series of Beavis and
Butt-Head. You had just found a
new boyfriend: “I am absolutely nuts
about him.” Seventeen days later,
you died in your sleep, forty-six days
past your thirty-seventh birthday.
Writing to someone who will never
read it — a worn-out poetic convention,
still in use only because of its necessity.
Elegies, like funerals, are survival
tools for the living. I write these words
of love, beautiful Danielle, because
silence fails me.
#poetry #love #sex #dating #relationships #grief #illness #death
She is getting in bed when she realises she is out
of the half-and-half she takes in her morning coffee.
He is still dressed. He tells her he’ll walk to the market
and get some for her.
The market is two blocks from their apartment.
As he walks, he looks up and sees stars
that have not existed since before he was born.
They did not know their light would travel so far.
He finds the half-and-half, selects two cartons,
stands in line at the checkout. Light of dead
stars, her asleep now in their home. Coffee
she will drink when she wakes. A journey
of two blocks in the universe.
#poetry #love #marriage #zen #astrophysics