Today I gave away my past

wrapped it in leaves and sunk it at the foot of the garden

where floating for a moment, it submerged into water moribund

the edges curling with brief surprise

water is like flame in that way

licking bright until emptied dark.

Today I drove to your house

where the willows weep and people with ashen faces

keep vigil

you were sleeping in your bedroom, a child in your eyes

the cry you bequeathed me

turning on the record player to smother it

with the slick precision of nothing left to lose

creating sound out of butter-fingered illusion.

Today I didn’t let you say no

we packed and left dust and unopened boxes behind

illness makes you so aware of time

its ephemeral shifting like

monsters beneath sand

your hair blowing in the humid air

replacing words.

Today we lay beneath a fan

oscilating like a tired cat catching her tail

the shape of you a fixture in my mind

your smell threaded through me

tapestry in touch

I reach again and again

you relent

weary of a life time of holding on.

Today is the salve

tomorrow the reckoning

we burn edges to watch what will happen

heedless of the portent

like little children hungry for fun

our eye on the clock of our life

rather burn than become

the stalagmite in cave

where nothing moves.

Today I see you in motion

running toward me like a girl

there may be every reason not to

yet we live on

yet we live on

the edge of the narrow road

turning corners until we no longer

see our shadows behind us

just the reach of our hands

growing hot against the other.

6 Replies to “tableau vivant”

  1. This is one of those poems that makes me aware of my breathing – I hold it constantly, when I’m not releasing it in a Ha of amazement. That cat tail… is a master stroke.

  2. Thinking you like something I have written is just about the best feeling in the world considering your work is among my enduring favorite and I aspire to be more like you in my ability with words

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