09 M Review
5 Poems by Rachel Jamison Webster

September You Become Me

 

You shawl me like smoke.

 

My hands shake I go down out the door hoping

no one will talk to me ask me something

 

like my name.  I feel your hunger your dark

question a bell plundered of its tongue. 

 

You’ve been empty now for weeks,

searching the slug and ash for your heart

your hands the sandy jawline your wife would trace

 

without even a photograph

to remember yourself by. 

 

Of course you can have my coffee.

Can walk with me down the street to buy the Times.

 

I imagine you in parts and snag

on trash because this other this

blinding fire and swimbladder sloshing

with rain. . .well I have trouble

 

walking and counting out change.

 

I concentrate on breathing,

tell myself the body

 

will not forget this

how to shovel in air and sift it somehow clean again.

 

How long will you want me to carry you?

 

I don’t know if I can some days

it is dragging a gunny sack filled

with bottles and documents wool scarves and cans. 

 

You are still so heavy, I know we share a mad passion for this

autumn, this light unburdened life. 

 

See how my hands float before me.

 

Since you went the light is so clear

it has become everything.

 

Faces peel from the bricks.

 

And outside the run-down city hospital

someone has planted an Easter lily.

 

Its trumpet erupts from green tongues.

 

White throat that is your life.





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