Friday, September 13, 2013

Elisabeth


If I thought your death would be the end, it has but
marked the beginning; my insistent dreams keep
bringing you back. The old you, not
the latter you, who was broken and feral
like a crazed alley cat.

The old you, when you were swimming
in an ocean of hope, away
from a shadowy past, away
from those who knifed you.
When you moved through miles of scar
tissue, and I admired
your every stroke.

This evening, in a downtown bar, I spoke
to a woman who had your slightly
down-pointing corners of the mouth, thin
long hair, pale complexion. Even the ethereal
frameless spectacles. Looking well
and lively—light raying
from her gleaming eyes—she chortled
with the laugh you had before
despair stole it away.

I never died, I wished
her to speak; my cheeks are rosy, my
spirit high, and I’m now going to order
another glass of chardonnay!

Elisabeth, I miss you so.

Am I to mourn you for the rest
of my days, carry sacks of longing
in my chest, keep looking up at the vacant
windows each time I walk down your street?

No, we would surely meet
again, and we would run through a sun-drenched
meadow, flowers woven in our hair. 
Not the survivors of harsh circumstances, 
but lighthearted creatures of spring days.
As we’d emerge from the earth, leaping
forth joyfully, the ground shall tremble
in six directions, and we would rise high and dance!  






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