Zin/Enough/Things/Squeeze/Flow (Free verse) by gregsamsa222
A Glass of Zin
It was three days after your death,
and I knew what that meant. We buried you
yesterday. You hate spending your nights alone.
I passed the time tonight by visiting
Our friend, you still remember him Iâm sure.
Owns the bar on Court Street. No hair. His eyes
Squeeze out of his sockets when heâs excited
But otherwise they disappear beneath
The bags of his lids.
No hair. That reminds me of you.
So I sat at the bar, and our friend shuffled
Towards me. âDarker than usual in here,â
âNot really. Maybe itâs just you,â
The air. You used to insist that
A bar wasnât a bar without the smoke
And I smoke and you never did and.
And I think I like it better without the smoke
Now. For a while I donât think of the craving, the
Sickness, so perhaps I should live out my years
Behind bars. Inside bars.
The waitressâwhat is her name?â
Stood beside me and leaned across to our friend,
Who squinted at her and waited. âGlass of zin,â she said.
Our friend disappeared into the darkness, rummaging through
The shelves like a librarian. He returned with
A bottle of white zinfandel and a shapely wine glass
That reminded me of you. When the bottle was uncorked
He clutched the bottle by the throat,
Tilted it until the slimy pale liquid rushed
To the lip, and paused.
After a bit, the waitressâI donât remember her name!â
Lifted the empty glass to the ceiling, peering into
Its crystal air. She shrugged. She wandered away.
Itâs been three days. I ordered
A glass of zin.
What is Enough
It was two days after your death,
And I wondered about the steps of grief.
I am not following them. They are to me
Like the MC Escher drawing. The
Steps churn and turn, never-ending, a vortex.
Everyone said it was a nice funeral. I ordered
Your favorite flowers but I must have
Forgotten a fewâthere were so many colors,
So much variety, yet they didnât remind me of you.
I donât know what was said at the funeral.
I watched the flowers and tried to recall
The times, so many, that you and I stood in a field
With the warm spring wind and the calm
Spring blooms. You named the flowers.
My sister said a few words. A few. Not enough.
Beside you I remained as long as I could
And it was a lazy Saturday morning again,
When I got up early to watch you sleep.
I cannot name the flowers. There were hundreds.
Red and yellow and purpleâ
The purples must have been violets, maybe
Irises, maybe orchidsâbut they were not enough.
There are not enough stages of grief. In the past
Week, as the end approached, strangers
Pressed copies of soft books into my hands,
Saying, âThis helped me get through it,â
Implying that one stage fits all. It is not enough, is it?
I am reading a book now and it urges me to
Give in for a while, let it go, give in and let go
As if grief were Excalibur. I cannot make sense of it.
I wonder if you liked your funeral.
I am simply not a person for flowers. You were.
Your garden, behind the house, with its
Paths leading to more paths, entwining and never-ending,
Will soon die because I am not enough.
It was the day after your death,
With the sun creeping across the wood floors
As imperceptibly as breath on a summerâs day.
I listened to music, sat in your chair,
Rummaged through the shoe box in which you
Kept all the things that had no normal place.
I donât know why you wanted to save these items.
I donât know the relevance they might have had.
A shoe-string, dear? Bright red. Short
It cannot be for an adultâs shoe.
A program for a play I did not recall seeing.
The paper is yellow and brittle.
A picture frame without a photograph.
The dirty glass held my reflection.
The sun closed in on the coffee table, an advancing
Army of dull heat. I could see the dust in the air
Swirling like anger, and it made me angry,
All these things I didnât understand, these remnants
Of a life that was my life and not my life all the same.
A marble. A rip of cloth. The arm of a doll.
I got up and placed the box on the table as the
Sun finally closed in for the kill. It struck at the marble
And at the framed glass, was repelled. The sun
Shattered into prisms that splattered against the wall,
The furniture, the ceiling. I got up to ask you about these
Things, forgetting that you could not answer.
But witnessing the war the sun had lost,
I received the answer anyway.
Asking is an insult.
It is the day of your death,
And you donât know it. You feel it,
Though, you sense it the way our cat
Predicts the weather. It is instinctual.
For the first time in weeks your hand is
Squeezing, squeezing, squeezing, clutching
my own hand which is unable to squeeze back
For fear of giving you enough peace to let go.
You must hate me for that. I donât blame you.
We worked so long for this moment and everything
Is ready except me. The nurse eases everyone from the
Room, ushering them into the hall where I once watched
You falling, gasping, crying, fitful with rage, clumps of hair
Clutched in your fists. There are sobs. There are murmurs.
Your face sags and is not the face I will remember, perhaps, but
It is still your face and I lean forward, lean into your scent that is
Your true scent, and I touch my lips to your lips, which feel dry and
The squeeze, the opposite of birth, the push, the touch, a last touch,
Sensation, this squeeze with my hand it must be for release, it must be
Because it happens instinctually and then you are gone. You are gone.
It is a year before your death,
But neither of us knows it.
You move beneath me like water
And I possess the flow of your body, letting it pass
Through my fingertips, pressing my chest against the
Rolling stream of your back, hips, stomach, breasts,
The legs that rise and fall like the tide, the mouth
Like a whirlpool, pulling me in, reaching always for
Something that is not mortal and is not mine to give.
We are night. Glistening sweat
Stars us. The night sky reflects on your water body.
Your hand moves into my hair and tugs playfully, daringly.
I donât know why such small movements become important
But it excites me, just as you begin to boil when I
Bite, too hard, the slender canal of your neck. These things
That lovers do, they canât be explained. They are mysterious creatures
That push against their surroundings, the slightest movement
Causing currents, ripples, tsunamis, hurricanes. These excitements
Thrive in the cryptic depths of the ocean and when they come
To the surface it is always a surprise. A revelation.
And then we are water. We merge and surge.
We are the night seas, furious, relentless, beating against the air
And ripping into the shores of undiscovered countries.
And then we are steam, burning away in a hot rising sun.
Our star sweat dries. Our excitements return to the depths.
What remains is the sound of breath, the quiet rhythm of
Life above sea level, and your breath is straining, even now,
Is laced with the last, greatest secret. As we drift off to sleep,
Body to body, the sun rises and you mention the appointment
Next week. I close my arms around you and begin to know.
Votes: (green: user, blue: anonymous)
Arithmetic Mean: 7.232143
Posted: July 12, 2004 7:03 AM PDT; Last modified: July 12, 2004 7:03 AM PDT
Weighted score: 7.232142
Overall Rank: 14
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