Ave atque vale*
I sat on the edge of the bed
and held his hand it was dry
and cold I squeezed the hand
but of course there was no re-
sponse they had dressed him
in one of his Scottish tweed
suits with the deer’s-horn
buttons on the side pockets
and put on the Princeton
(orange and black) tie I
had come to say goodbye I
was crying but suddenly my
sadness had changed to resent-
ment even to anger almost
to hatred why are you de-
serting me how dare you
leave me in my rage I
pulled up his shoulders
and shook him as hard as
I could I raised him
further and banged his head
against the pillow I want-
ed to make him open his eyes
how can you abandon me you
the one who loved me most.
* Hail and Farewell, Catullus 101
O Best of All Nights, Return and Return Again
How she let her long hair down over her shoulders, making a love cave around her face. Return and return again.
How when the lamplight was lowered she pressed against him, twining her fingers in his. Return and return again.
How their legs swam together like dolphins and their toes played like little tunnies. Return and return again.
How she sat beside him cross-legged, telling him stories of her childhood. Return and return again.
How she closed her eyes when his were open, how they breathed together, breathing each other. Return and return again.
How they fell into slumber, their bodies curled together like two spoons. Return and return again.
How they went together to Otherwhere, the fairest land they had ever seen. Return and return again.
O best of all nights, return and return again.
Experience of blood
I never knew there was so much blood
in a man until my son killed himself
he did it with a kitchen knife stab-
bing himself all over and cutting his
wrists then he got into the bathtub
and died there in the water that's
where we found him but could he have
changed his mind for a moment the floor
was a carpet of blood & blood was spat-
tered on the walls the basin was cov-
ered with blood did he stand there
looking at himself in the mirror still
wondering who he really was and then
went on with it I had to wipe away the
blood it took me four hours to do it
but I couldn't have asked anyone else
because after all it was my blood too.