Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pete Winslow's Widow

First night Paula stayed
the night the comedian
read poetry, the surreal
way a cloud passes over:
Carol Bly, now dead,
answering her phone
long distance saying
Robert’s away. Stay away.

Paula married me, poet
whose heart briefly turned
to its usual syncopation
as she turned lifting skirt
to show her beautiful butt
after bed following lunch
–those days, and if nights
there were they lingered.

A year going on two, one
flesh never. Irish Cathleen,
awaited by my door wanting
to open, being closed so long
the bolts it swung upon
rusted, the booze spilled,
the marijuana all gone.

In Boston I had the number
and called from a pay phone
and she answered, wept
audibly, saying Pete's dead,
not long ago but dead,
and did he remember me,
the surrealistic comedian?

Bly wrote to say that’s why
he loved his wife, she kept
interruptions away; one day
I'd know. I already knew
Paula waited, it felt forever,
but why? Easter resurrection
failed. She rolled away.

His widow? Who was she?
I told her why I’d called,
how he once made me laugh
until I cried. She calmed.
Later I was glad I called.
Irish Cathleen came back,
she drove the car home,
her olive-skin house.

(17 October 2010)

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