I am scared to death
Not just the big death
but tiny deaths, too.
All the bulbs are burning out
in my house one by one.
In living, we accrue small darknesses.
Mirror to mirror: void
where my eyes should be.
Hung mauve towel.
Vines of black mold.
Plastic ringlets steady
stained curtain infinity.
The silver shower faucet was once
a sunflower dreamed of fluorescence.
Now, downpour, no bright
for every prayer.
Gallons of black shower
(plead with God just–).
gobs and gobs of hair
cling to the drain.
Genuflect in the porcelain pitter-patter.
A feedback loop of weeps.
Hot water, cold water,
(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)
I do not perceive you as obsessed with death
even if, days before, our jovial talks of dying
led to sugar-frosted blue wondering at the sky.
We planned to pop champagne for the birth
of feeling alive: winter hardens soil so we must dig
to the laughter we share in our spines.
We did not drink white wine, but the beer was breath
without knowing the scent– like any year,
we were paintings of light and dark, of limb
and bone so disordered to stand is a triumph,
and hope is a kaleidoscope, a conjecture.
Each dying wave returns, even at the frayed edge
of memory, how the dead are lavish with flowers
and stories. Still, we press on to uncork
our champagne future: drafts of breath in each
new year, dead waves haunting the mortal tide
with no specific beginning, no obvious end.
(originally published in Liquid Imagination, Summer 2016)