Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Elegy After the Death of a Cousin

It wasn't the fact that you died that I recognized
after hanging up the phoneit was the way my brother said it.
Nothing registered except quick annoyance and anger.

Then it sank in:
that your father, wife, & fourteen year-old watched you die
at the hospital in Connecticut; that I was away in Chile, miles
from the tired faces of parents, relatives--from any reminder
that you had died at all. And now, back again, I’m furious

at the vague but warm memories I have left:
your large, friendly body; your compass-like smile;
your laugh, like a big brass instrument—

ghosts left behind, and not even a wink of you.

for Steve

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