west coast farewell

he put his boots on and walked out the door

unconcerned by the night streets

christened with the blood of youth

he was three years past his prime in naïve eyes

hiding in the exterior of holiness

his nostrils inflamed, he shook

and the earth moved

it does not matter     not now

sunday was the last day of tired childhood

torn by the thorns at my brow

he said, just speak once and i’ll…nevermind

still there are bruises on my back porch

he needed to find the meaning in something

than mere philosophy

i strolled outside, naked and barefoot

now this shirt that he wore sticks

to my sweaty skin

stow away

you are stored in my attic with

stuffed bears and dr. seuss

her essence is there, too

sometimes i think i can smell

her drugstore perfume

i stay though i ache to run

a reminder of the old time

but the rumble of a

greyhound bus

can no longer comfort me

those days when i ran from

my mother, a lover, the law,

myself

i want to leave you up near

the eaves to be rustled through

like old poems and a

high school year book

when i am wrinkled and grey

i want this to fade like a

photograph

riding in cars with boys

considering the options

i use a different approach

blank stares from across

this empty room

i try to remember what

it was i did wrong

problems swept under the rug

i go for a ride with the boys who

smell so nice and light my cigarettes

they are young, like me, hungry

almost agitated by female presence

i hold the power of a hot, humid saturday

sweaty, breathless words in the backseat

now i look through the window at the rain

and wish for something more than riding in cars

                                               \

with boys

i run downstairs and

out the door

 into the revving engine

of a translucent friend

 

two seasons

a daughter died in the

dog days of summer a

dog who was a daughter

died dreadfully in the

death days of summer

a husband hung himself

halfway through the holidays

a husband who was

halfway himself

hung through the horrible

hated holidays

a woman went on

wondering

what was whispered

on a white winter night

a woman whispered

wondering was it a

woeful wail?

i imagine hemingway’s last minutes

driven by soul and too much scotch

i wonder if he really wanted to die

i think about what that shotgun felt

like as he held it in his hands

was the barrel cool in his throat; did he gag?

what was his last confession?

a story of a safari gone awry or

his best friend having his leg blown

off in the great war

maybe he thought about a woman he loved

many years ago that didn’t love him back

all these thoughts in those last moments

living is waiting to die

building up to this last moment

channeling your goodbyes

love was a game but it was pretty to think so

of course he had these feelings so

what does that make me

as i contemplate hemingway’s

last lovely minutes?