A FACT AS I KNOW IT
The running ahead, and fast,
was the easiest thing they did,
then the gun – he wouldn’t hold a gun,
drove ambulances instead –
reminded him of when he met his
wife, Amersfoort, 1944, a stake
of two packs of smokes and a dance.
It was like-like at first sight.
Three bullets missed him, and two
landed flush between the left-side ribs
of his partner, knocking the wind out
for good. Then click clack smackety smack,
like the reel to reel of an eight track,
like Casablanca without the vertical hold,
the quietest fingers creased
the world’s most impossible fold.
* * * * *
I wanted to give you a friendship
Bracelet or a lanyard wire, a flossed
Half-hitch knot, or a Broken Ladder,
An Inverse Chevron or a Totem Pole.
It could have been a Flip Flop Zig Zag
Or a Candy Stripe, too, right before
The razzle dazzle of the strobe lights
And the speaker took the stage saying
It cannot be that death is the worst;
It’s more around the edges that hurts
And then pinned what remained of his
Speech to the belly of the podium –
A gesture that looked like generosity,
Though it was not.
* * * * *
THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE NOW
Him, in the morning, same
As last night, cum-soaked
In yesterday’s commemoration
Of what we both know is coming,
Coffee run, apple cinnamon
Cheerios and soy milk,
Dress, wash, our hair, face.
Walk to the Junior Public School,
Negotiate our way through new
Alliances (ours), new enemies (hers),
All the while keeping cool heads,
Heeling up against panic,
The drop-off, the kiss-off, the wave.
Let’s take a breath and talk like adults.
Let’s hold hands and grin.
Let’s make long silences
Because what we do now, say or don’t say,
Lays to waste what came before,
Builds and rebuilds all that we were,
What we have been all along.
Published On: February 14, 2013
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/130214e.htm