A Long Poem for Something Brief

Garamond size 12 was what you preferred.
It has replaced my usual Calisto MT.
What I used to love looks too naive, too
Innocent for my wide-eyed seriousness

About you.


Your Doc Martens — black, shiny, new
All black, like you. Your jacket,
Your scarf, your sweater,
your t-shirt, your dark-washed jeans,
your black boxer briefs — your
Socks brightly patterned in protest,
But long gone underneath the pile on the floor.


Like your yellow house on that unlovely street,
Where I stood once more without
You there
Anymore,


No more
Than you ever were.


We both had our other loves,
You, for your images,
And I, my words

They are all I have left
Of
You.

We took no photographs:
I can no longer see your features right,
Only words, words, words

Left from one long and unlovely night.

(I wonder if you could paint me still.)
(You painted roses so well.)

With such skill,

You edited each text,
With muddied meaning
And perfected syntax,

No more but so.

This is too brief,
For hurt this long.

 

Dial Tone

Dial Tone

And
If I could call you today,
I would dial your number,
Say hello,
And ask in broken tones-
If you are—okay.

It’s not a question.
I don’t want to know
If my version of reality,
Where you are happy
And I am not—

Matters more,
Than hearing your voice
Across the ocean
Again.

Funeral

I didn’t own a black skirt,
Nor trousers for that matter.
I was watching myself,

Pale-legged-gangly-eleven,
Standing at the edge of my coffin,
On the verge of

Laughter—
My skirt was dark grey,
My growth spurt bordering inappropriate.
But as long as no one noticed,
“It was black enough.”
My mother said.

My grandfather noticed.
He couldn’t say anything though.
My mother didn’t say.

My father, wordless, purchases,

A silver frame

Standing immemorial

On our Bose speakers,
Trembling always

With the weight of my grandfather’s photograph,

Trembling;

With the weight of what he never said.

Dial Tone

And
If I could call you today,
I would dial your number,
Say hello,
And ask in broken tones-
If you are—okay.

It’s not a question.
I don’t want to know
If my version of reality,
Where you are happy
And I am not—


Matters more,
Than hearing your voice
Across the ocean
Again.

I think of it as a relationship transition.
You made it sound so bland, easy, everyday,
Or as you called what we were best at doing—
Being us; Quotidian.
A relationship. 
Something two people are in together,
Like a roommate situation, but for life.
Like a friendship, but more generic.
Like a related thing, but not exactly.
Like an umbrella that puts two people together.
Like what we once were, both one and two,
Us and me and you.
A disproportionate way of being;
Two people finding that they always have room
For each other. Like that, 
Like that exactly.

A transition. 
Driving with my friends once, we lurched out of the
Parking lot. Emergency lights came on.
I can’t drive this car. It’s too big.

I can’t drive.
I can do it….How do you switch gears? 

I don’t want to die.
Transitions are like that, mechanical and clunky.
Occasionally smooth.

Are you sure you want to be with someone who uses words like relationship transition?
When most people say relationship transition, they mean marriage.

The most common response:
97% What!
90% What does that even mean?
100% Laughter.
One person: User.
One person. Abject Confusion.
End of Survey. Copyright. 11th November, 2014.

Relationship Transition:
Word not found.
Did you mean break-up?
Try again.