questions in the dark

when I was twenty-three, I thought life was chocolate cake…

yet so many sobering faces confronted me

from the crowd that lived the longest-

no sunshine in their veins,

nor smiles in the topo lines etched in flesh 

their passing like the scent of a faded gardenia

or an old musty beige house,

sadness lingered like a mist about them.


solace was my grandmother’s friend

but a clueless mystery to a boy of nine

clinging to the porcelain edge while taking a bath

as if the flood of memories would invade the bathroom

and I the drowning captain of a big white boat…

but solace slept with sadness

and I saw her sleeping at an instant

when the grey eyes drooped and the mouth dropped.


but it terrified me at six when I tried to remember the sobbing sound

that came when I closed my eyes and opened my ears in the

dead of night, the purple black.

listening to the snoring wheezing of an old one in the room beside me

and wondering if it was catching, this sobbing sound-

would I get it too when I became as crusty as the old woman?








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