Late at night awake, sometimes
I wish that with me here I still had you
to stare at the invisiblest rhymes.
I know my dear that if I told you
my mailbox was on some fine days
a folded gnome bent over, painted blue,
or that I saw a fuchsia bird ablaze
hanging beakside down you'd know it wasn't
from the wooden feeder’s trays,
or that music just mustn’t
want to play inside the half
where the bottle wasn’t,
I know you’d let me laugh
I know you’d understand
all these things, this riff and raff.
I know you’d tell me, ever bland
your soup was cubed and smile around
the thorny rose in your mouth’s hand.
You’d draw fishes flaunting pistols, dancing drowned
in salty spotlights, playing out piscine charades
you’d let me cry and let me laugh till I hit ground.
But you’re gone, my dear, in spades
all of you each particle and seed
your face, your cashmere voice, angora braids
your hands and heart and all controls
chestnut hair and snowy bones, afloat like milkweed,
blown in the great diaspora of souls.
Leaving me to let this screed
fly into the gnome’s mouth, freed.
For Marsha Rae
This poem is written roughly in the terza rima form.
Photo of milkweed by Lisa Spangler
under Creative Commons License 3.0 U.S.