For the one I hardly knew. Forgive me, I don’t know what else to do…

 

Today I read the last words you ever wrote:

it was a diary of your feelings

& your last poem…

 

You wrote so beautifully about the sky between

sentences expressing a tiredness so deep

you just wanted to die.


Knowing I failed to help you lift your head

more often; to help ease your burden;

to love you as you deserved to be.

 

Now there is no way to say sorry

& stay with you in that other world

you wrote of in you last poem,


one you wrote for me…

despite being only another drunk,

an idiot, rare & wild only to you,


yet even I could see with these

eyes of “ever changing colour”

how delicately, intricately woven you were

before your threads

fell away.

on the wind

 

The Funeral

I tried smiling at your funeral,

to avoid the choking weeds of grief.


Breathing trees

no longer naked,

their limbs veiling then revealing 

a diamond-clear sky,

stood beside the road leading

to the building where your family was mourning.

  

(When she asked me where you’d gone, 

I told your daughter you had

become one with nature;


every flower,

the lambent limbs of sunlight

& all those dignified trees, 

believing

you would like that answer.


I hope I wasn’t wrong.)


A vodka (double vodka) before

the eulogy, 

& another 

(& another) after

it was over.


Then, outside: cold brightsunlight,

dreaming of you dancing; 


the prosody of your body,

singing,

as roses red & white

flowed from your hips,

replacing the weeds &

loosening their grip,

 

just long enough to bring 

some small relief


from the reality of your absence.


Yet there was nothing except

 

the brutal eloquence


of silence.

Heart Rat

Your heart rat escaped the ribcage

                                                        trap

too late to save its brain:

 

they peeled back the skin, broke the skull beneath

to search for what cannot be found.

 

Line after line we try

to shed our shroud of lies.

I aim too high,

                            afraid

not of hights but the oubliette

where words forget to hide our fear,

 

& then the poem disappears

                                                         when

you tell me how you held her in your hands

as she died.

 

Your heart rat was one of the lucky ones:

 

She was loved,

not experimented on.

 

If only

              we could all be so lucky…

 

 

“Everything I love will die / in due time”*

Nothing left but the wet
decaying process
of repetition,
                not you
but something else;
unheimlich; the body
rigid
though not yet cold;

failing to feel the ground
beneath my feet
                trembling;
I leave the room
to try & force my fists & skull
                through a wall.

Sometimes I forget that you’re gone.

Sometimes I hate you for leaving,

but as you told me “c’est la vie:
la tristesse sera fini bientôt,

mais je suis désolé mon enfant.”

Sometimes I forget your face & panic.

Sometimes I take solace knowing
that now you’re nothing

& sometimes I can’t stand it.

My greatest regret will forever be
not being there to see
                your final breath.

                            &
what I whispered to you when
                all energy had left
will remain a secret
I will keep forever…

* Iron Chic – Know What I Mean, Jellybean

The Animal

To see and be the ugly things of life.

To know there is terror in the sublime.

To be
a biological organism,
a bipedal mammal
with opposable thumbs;
 
witness the animals as they come together
to gather round the fire
& make their greatest mistake as
they take the communication system
moulded from noises and turn it
into language:
                a feed-back loop into which members of the group
                will descend when
                they discover how
                to talk to themselves
                & not others;

necessary lie of grammar, to anchor
our respective first-person perspective  
it gave rise to the lie that is the “I”,
                the insistence
that there is something different inside of us.

Can you appreciate sensation: the feeling
of vibration;
the harmony of eternal energy
composing & flowing through us?

Is there hope to be discovered
                            of escape
from the day to day
after day after day
of feeling dull & repetitive
& dull &
the same?