Lines for the Widow

I seldom know the lines for the widow,
You see, I am a poet,
I see death every night,
I die a little, others die in conclusion,
And the sun comes up at half past four.
Sometimes, I go for the jugular and squeeze,
Other times, the war is extraordinary,
Heaven opens a window,
I stand perfect, melted into the brick wall,
The stomping army trembles the tea cups and window panes of Saigon,
A young soldier tramples the tulip in the terrace.
But what to say when I have a widow’s ears.

Death ripens you, I try to tell her.
That is its claim to fame. I whisper.
I am a writer, I see death on the train,
And for my ten dollar words,
I pick fights with my muse,
Very remarkable battles, I win some,
I lost half a soul,
But with death,
The hairs in your nostrils will not grey on cue,
Wrinkles will not mantle your eyes just yet,
Your digestion will be unbroken.
These miracles must with steady time come.

Death is a social animal,
See through the hole-in-the-wall,
See the color of her vulva,
Hold your breathe, play little death games,
Storm out unloved, turn into the wrong boulevard,
The foul special effects of pretending at life,
That stuff is for the newspapers,
For your daughter’s jarring eulogy,
That gifts an erection to the maudlin priest,
It will make a man of little Isaiah now.

You would not, cannot be the same,
You have tasted the honey of death,
That excellent fiction,
That it wasn’t you today.
It’s a small joy,
Down to the wire,
Riots and airstrikes,
Bubble as you may,
We always choose the small joys.
I am a photojournalist, I smell death in my sleep,
And your husband was legendary,
He is in a better place now,
Or so they say.

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