Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Not-Very-Good, but Heartfelt, Poem on the Occasion of What Should've Been Your 64th Birthday

I make these offers and concessions
as if I were in a position to negotiate

as if somehow landing on the right combination
of what I'd settle for
would unlock the door you're hidden behind

as if something could change now
that hasn't in all these preceding years.

I know it's ridiculous even as I think
the words, the wishes, the want incessant,
to you, to a god I don't believe in,
to a deaf universe.

I will never change anything.  And I will never stop wanting to.

So my laughter at myself is bitter
and I wish I were an animal who could forget
after awhile
forget what was lost
knowing that all I gained would go with it,
but still thinking I might be better off trading away this

I got the shitty end of this stick.  You have to admit that.

But I see these videos of wild animals
raised by humans, then set free.
Their men find them, an ape, a lion, again
after so many years
and what is clear is they've forgotten nothing.
All beating hearts forever changed by love.


By all accounts, if any of them are to be believed,
my forever is much longer than yours.
And I'm glad for your sake, but
can't quite get over the lack of consolation prize for mine.

Not one.  Not one single new thing has come into my life since you left
that made me say, "Ah! Yes! This makes it worth going on without you.
Sure glad I didn't miss this!"

I curse our fragile bodies
and time itself and
watch the odds dwindle
for all of us, even as I close the gap between us.

I have so little left to say to you, because
there is no news on this front.
And because you do not answer my letters or return my calls.

But I hope my silent yearning clangs
wherever you are
on the hour, the half-hour, and the quarter,
so you know it is not for lack of desire that I
speak so little, but a lack of vocabulary.

There is no new way to tell you,
"Come home.  I'm still here.  I miss you."