Today's poem is about someone trying to recover from a loss.
Now that I've unplugged the phone,
no one can reach me-
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven't yet heard that she's dead,
that woman I once loved-
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I've heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago.
as I lean back in Josephine's lawnchair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken - if that is the word for it -
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.
from Mysteries of the Body, 1994
Copyright 1991 by Steve Kowit.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).