I love cheese I also love the feel of the wind on my back I am not supposed to have much cheese I don’t get to feel the wind Because I stay inside Where my friends are the television The computer screen And the cheese
I have two tvs so I can split my attention Between two games, or two shows Or so I can ignore two things at once I love my privilege One of these devices Has been with me since before I lost my wife It still gives me a clear picture Of everything I watch And everything I lost
Your face is dark Not sure if it’s your mood or the lighting Or my uncertainty in how I want you remembered I approached this picture like I do my bad habits Correcting things later, when I should have composed with greater care We are masters of our art But sometimes our talents lie In knowing which pictures not to take
I brought a bowl of fruit to your room You chose a fresh green grape It was small You could swallow it You turned to me and said “I am grateful.” I asked if you wanted more You said “Yes, and no.” And quietly breathed one last breath Said goodbye to this time and place. I didn’t think I could finish the fruit, So late in the night, I returned it to the refrigerator Where it would stay cold. And I thought of you.
Robert F. Kennedy lay in the hospital and I stood on the stones in my back yard Where I used to preach as a kid and prayed for his recovery I stood later on my front steps and prayed some more But my prayers were for naught And my birthday became the day he took his last breath I can still smell the honeysuckle plants behind sermon rock I can still feel the wind on my face as I stood and called the congregation to prayer Each blade of grass was my holy community Each thick green leaf on the magnolia tree was the choir The thick southern air Was not like the California heat My young life Was not like his young death Our lives never came together But my dreams were big His dreams were big And now all he can do is dream the dream that never ends
You might say you were being strangled by my constant attention, And “I became a ghost so I can breathe again I need to become light as a feather I need to become a rainstorm in spring I need to feel safe as who I am”
And I might say “a rainstorm in spring”…when I was A child, and it rained, I used to crawl under My father’s desk and look out the back window I felt safe watching the rain pour down Outside the glass that kept the scary world at bay
That’s how I felt when our lips met in the parking lot And the cars were voyeurs And for once in my life, after the long night of mourning, I could breathe