I was conscious of being handled. I must have died from love, as in the old ways.
There was a certain amount of praying and lamenting. I didn’t mind, though I preferred
The joking and the drinking. Sooner or later it would all be the same.
The first touch was the gentlest. It was a friend who found me, sure.
And saw them take me up onto the gurney, and they were gentle, too.
It wasn’t needed now, I thought, but I felt it, and began to try and remember touching.
It’s fair to ask how I could have such thoughts in my body, gone as I was.
I haven’t any answer, nor any to your next question, either,
About this moment or the next, or what’s between. So far I’m only somewhere
Not being someone. I don’t even know why I am writing to you, when it’s been this long
Since I wrote or even thought of doing it, or needed to.
Then, yet, there are others gone so much longer than I ever thought of being
So, their quilts folded into the crossword box from Ikea. Nice that you still have that.
It turns out to be a trick, saying things. You begin to talk, and then
For years you do it. You’re stopped before you’re done. No one listens to the end,
There’s always an interruption or two, and I guess that’s natural enough
Though it seems wrong. Who knows where it goes, your thought you didn’t get
To finish? Not here. And if one insists, it’s rude, or erotic, like pointing.
I wish I knew what I was trying to say here. I realize it’s my last chance
To explain. One is never closer to the source of love than when turning
To look for dogs who are eating grass down the path.
Everyone remembers a few same things. Calliopes, for example,
Or chinaberries, or desuetudes. That is what makes the treacherous wishes
Come true for a while, as the lines get longer or seem to, at the stores.
Now I can finally see how you’ve ignored my instructions and wishes. I forgive you though, I’m in
no position not to, having lain so quietly that no one by now is paying
Any attention at all. But this room you’ve put me in is hideous.
This B-3 Hammond is being fingered, for Christ’s sake,
In a really putrid way. And this suit, well, I don’t like this style at all. It isn’t me.
I wanted to be burned in my old tux and my ashes mixed
With the dogs’ in a giant homemade urn. Put us near a fireplace, please,
Under an old bird gun, so the idea of being warmed by wings of fire can remain close by,
And that smell of wood burned, kiss-sweet and clinging, would evoke
Some elementary memory I’d prefer not to share because I might lose it,
As I have lost my tongue. Melanie Wilson, perhaps, pausing on a bridge in bright sun,
Showing me a pellet of skin and dirt she’d rolled from the heel of her palm.