Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Poem


Tuck Pointing


The third month after your death
I dig out the black sweater I brought from the home
which is no longer our home the way
you are no longer my wife
and withdraw again into your brother’s city
that resembles no place we ever lived together:
blank trees overhanging immaculate lawns,
strip malls with burrito shops and tanning salons,
children who make the usual games with their boredom.
Ed offers me work as we walk between houses.
He points out the chimneys to still replace,
how the neighborhood practices neglect in all of the usual ways.
No piece of this landscape resists our expectations.
Some nights I sit up chewing antacids or cough drops,
thinking about the old neighborhood
and how we’d walk the buckle of avenues,
catching up on the smallest details of our time apart.
It was the last time I saw you alive:
yesterday, last night, a few minutes ago.
What binds memory to memory
is the absence we let go in-between.
We once spent six years
trying to decide what would happen next.

5 comments:

Kayla said...

UGH! John your are such a GREAT writer!! I miss her so much!

Marcus said...

Thanks John. I appreciate how you capture the sense of dislocation in "your brother's city," because it's like nowhere you ever lived with Katie.

For some reason this poem reminded me of our long walks on Central St in Evanston, to the movie theater in the distance...we were always making plans then too.

Kayla said...

i remember going on midnight walks with Katie because se thought I looked sad or she just wanted to talk about life. :]

I miss those so much!

Ky said...

this is beautiful

Don said...

Hi, John, This looks like another really sad one. I hope you're managing. Today I was driving back from a few days of hiking in the Adirondack Mountains when I was reminded that it was last summer, after a similar drive, that I got the news of Katie's death. Talk to you soon, Don