two poems – ghost #218

three phones
Dirge
Let’s wonder how awkward it is not just for us,
the ones standing around up-skirted ground,
but how spine splitting it must be for the man who never met her
yet now finds himself here super gluing the container for her remains shut.Let’s talk about her virtues.Let’s attempt to ray trace our memories
and recall instead why we don’t have steady hands.Let’s strand ourselves shaking and lonely
in a room full of her, and our, dearest friends.Let’s tell each other stories we’ve heard before.Let’s try jokes if that’s doesn’t work.Let’s all stand around and stare at the dirt.Let’s find it strange that they don’t play sad songs at a funeral.
Let’s think it a denial of truth
but in retrospect admit that nobody really needs another reason to cry.Let’s talk less about the woman we lost
and more about the God who’s said to have taken her from us.
Let’s remember that’s most of the reason why I hate Catholic services.Let’s carry the unpleasant of our world squarely at the base of our throat.
Let’s feel the swelling.
Let’s feel like a snake having eaten an elephant.
Let’s not like the taste in our mouth.Let’s tell each other it will get better.Let’s watch her husband and two sons
with their heads bowed inward
forming a lopsided triangle
with no corner to it’s lips.Lets let them be silent.Let’s voyeur ourselves into its center.Let’s miss her.Properly.I don’t like the taste in my mouth.

Let’s still have to work on Monday
and say to our manager
“I’m well, how are you?”

Let’s recall how artificial a funeral is.

Let’s regale our friends with stories
of a woman they never met

and never will.
Let’s miss her.Let’s write this poem from a collective perspective
to distribute the trauma away from ourselves,
to disguise our self obsession,
to emphasize the fact that all grieving is valid,
that my grievances with her service are small,
that I wasn’t the one who knew her best,
that I’m not the one who misses her most,
that I still miss her all the same.Let’s miss her all the same.
Let’s feel the guilt in tandem.
Let’s not like the taste in our mouths.Let’s miss her all the same.

Reprise

In my coat closet you’ll find no Narnia,
only the gained crop of past lovers lost.
On the bottom shelf you’ll find a dust crusted box
stuffed with knickknacks and old box office tickets
politely labelled “in case it doesn’t work out.”
Beside that you’ll find an old waitstaff hat
and a note that claims some semblance of perspective.
I suppose I might go back.
Call it a second first act,
and act content.
After all, not everyone is meant to be loud,
and shouting matches rarely spark healthy fires.So let’s say
“ぜんぶ人 c’est la vie.”
We’ll make a shitty mix-tape.
Call it the Fall in love with a stranger EP.
We don’t have to agree
on what predicates celestial value,
or what rhetoric to apply
in each other’s eulogy.
Just —
Tell me
I’ll be ok.
Please.
SBGS December

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