--I NEED TO STOP DREAMING BACKWARD
…Would you permit me to linger and wallow a bit longer?
I’m almost done.
…I haven’t written anything in quite some time. I’ve been going through this weird period. My brother died tonight. We were very estranged, as he was with every family member. My father died last week, and in having to be the executor of the will and trust, it’s required a fair amount of communication with my siblings, many of whom I rarely talk to. And thus, things are dredged up in various ways…
…I had my writer’s group last night, and a meeting beforehand. A friend said I should set aside some time to write. I said, “I will. I promise. But I think I’ll write some poetry.” To which he said something such as, “That’s great. Poetry allows you to escape.”
Here’s where I escaped to:
Burying Our Parents
It’s a surprise.
The old scars are milk blue,
swelling and smelling of Tareyton cigarettes and candy corn,
a heady mix of Christmas and Halloween,
one event which was so often hell,
the other a lucky feast for kids far
poorer than migrants.
The death of witches and warlocks--
who just happen to be mothers and fathers--
should elicit elation,
but now it’s only welts and belt marks that appear
under our lids,
shaped like crippled starfish
dying in the sun.
As we stand around the casket,
together again after all these years,
nothing more than a band of misplaced misfits,
there are no corsages placed atop the coffin,
no tears either,
sadness and joy scrubbed away by the coarsest steel wool
or sharpest knuckles,
nothing to feel at all
but that nostalgic dread of anticipation
and the insistent trembling of oncoming doom,
charcoal thunderclouds skirting the hills ghostlike,
while a solitary bugle strains to be heard
in the midmorning air.