Quite content with the alternative

I lay by my wife and felt her fingers,

and then all her bones together –

a skeletal, scary thought

with a cold wind blowing through it –

so I hastened to add the rest,

first the organs and then the

blood and tissues I couldn’t name,

and finally the skin and

mass of golden hair.

But even then she wasn’t herself,

so I started decking her out

with all her qualities, her smile and

hard soft-heartedness,

her way of leaving things

and that twist when she dances.

And how she cooks, with her million recipes,

and curls up in the corner of the couch.

The further I went, the warmer she,

and the drowsier I,

got, and God it’s good

to sleep with her

and not with that bag of bones!

Commuter

Amid the vast network of tracks and trains

one puts his body in and

it matters a lot whether he

puts it in or in front of the

train. We who ride know

the difference, but he who

has stalled and rerouted us

is blank, extinguished,

a smoke without a flame

1, 2, 3

This set of three poems was prompted by the untimely death of a young mother. May she rest in peace and may her family know the consolation of a loving (the living) God.

 

1. SHE IS SCHOOLED IN THE HARDER MYSTERIES-

in the grammar of disappointment

and math of endless days.

 

2. WHAT IS SPENT

to prevent

the one final flare-out?

 

3. SUICIDE FLOWERS

Wouldn’t they make you sick,

your mother gone

and these instead,

pert with the pollen of dropsy?