After the Funeral
Some stayed prisoner on that hill for hours,
still as the chiseled stone; others shut the doors
of cars, and drove back to their hotel, or home,
to that hill in years yet to come. And some
of us gather, as is due, to drink and bequeath
unto ourselves an estate of memory not reclaimed
Through the candid gloom of the bar I watch you
mourning there amid the faces, a hall of mirrors
reflecting all that grief can use, the amends
that tally up a life, warped by last assessments.
I hold myself in cool remove, stubborn over beers.
Crudely wanting, times like this, to be like you.
The Pressure in His Head
Like pond ice, fat with the lag of dead
toads and algae, hard volume of
winter water. Cracking at the margins
like cottage gunshots. Thirty below,
a sidewalk sundered under frost.
His temples. Ingress of a glacial nudge,
or groan. Or shook fuselage, loosened
from altitude, hunting the graceless bump
of runway, rattles its flaps, tautens
against the worsted hawsers of turbulence. His
temples. Birdnests of blood. His temples.
Four wet lanes crammed with Hyundai
and Nissan, waxed lozenges sashaying
through slush. Brinkmanship of brakelights. His
temper. Inches on. Tailgated to misery.
Undeft fingers fumble Gordian boot-
laces, ticklish as mousetraps. Profound
dread. Or diving suit, Vernesque, in leagues seized
with the suasion of going deeper, narcotically
pressed for the seabed, every spare
square. His head, god, his head.
SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #42
The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics...since 2002
MAY 2006 ISSN 1479-425X Editor: Amatoritsero Ede