11.5.15

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 03:14 -- Pholo

Abbey's eyes were champaign; 

Her tongue a wild mare

When she galloped she kicked up words 

like dust under Ozymandias' feet;

psalms of Lenore, of Michelangelo--of cabbages and kings,

And of course, 

"The Cremation of Sam McGee"

 

Oh, McGee

The poem Abbey tromped so fondly 

Her hooves carved a canyon

straight through Tennessee 

I look over the ledge and I wonder, 

 

Was Harrison cold when he died? 

 

Abbey used to read to me

On the bus, on Mount Sentinel--

Up at the cabin we lay down, full and free

and she knitted a story out of dust motes 

and poetry from the sun

and I knew

I would never quite fall out of love with her

 

Harrison's heartbeat

I think about the stars at 3 A.M. on Sussex Avenue,

And whether or not he looked up before he pulled the trigger

Because I don't feel so alone when Orion's overhead

 

Now when Abbey opens her mouth her eyes are flat stones

She hasn't told me a poem since high school.

As we sip our coffee, we talk about the cars on South Avenue 

And she bikes home alone.

 

Harrison didn't leave a note,

But four months after, 

Haley sent me a letter

With some of his poetry

 

So I read a dead man's legacy

 

And I thought,

How dare you, Sam McGee

 

How dare you brave the wasteland for so long

And never call out for help

The winter's hands are on your body

And she will not forget your shape.

Your friends will don caps, nurse candles

But the warmth belongs to us.

 

Only poetry reaches the dead.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community

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