for P. J.
I can never forget the gardenia behind one ear,
I wanted to take sound out of my horn
and put it there.
You don’t know the pain I caused, I can’t
believe I was a fool
not to be home where she needed me
because I was concentrating night and day
on what years were torn away,
like she took her body from mine
saying, You don’t touch me enough, lover,
you gotta live alone so I can feel okay
with the pain I had before I met you
and what’s left me now
I’ll give you back in song . . .
Listen, some screams you don’t even want to hear
so why not be gone when I’m here
shooting up my vial of denial
or whatever you want to call it
since I’m never coming back and I can’t say it
Sometimes hair doesn’t grow in the grave,
but fingernails? Hell, there’s no telling
a body’s ways. The rough sky washboards sun,
snow gets ready for winter, walking
more stagger than amble.
Let’s see if we can sing in chorus once . . .
Who do I dedicate my death to? Why not
ride the plague horse in karma’s merry-go-round?
(13 October 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander