Somehow Yet, Unfinished

…for Anne

Somehow yet, unfinished…
a life~

Like envelopes sealed of salt water,
blurred, swollen-
all emotion, all spoken word repressed,
cresting a wave somewhere
between the veil of living and dead~

You falter in this stillness,
where we have gathered
to let all things go,
to consummate language, as language is
with no intention of ever coming back~

Breathing Ether, floating landscapes…
down streets that once occupied
the darker moments of your childhood-
where a page became your elegy
and words your only hope.

It is honest, what you say of the dead,
that they are more like stone,
more like the water that took those words…
and that theirs is the only truth
that we will ever know.


Author’s NoteI occasionally find myself having tangible, albeit odd affairs with the dead.  I’ll be reading Bukowski and decide that there’s something i want to say to him. I’ll think of Virginia and wonder if i can’t manage to steal one of those impossibly heavy stones from her pocket…. if i couldn’t somehow convince her that we, as humans , need her so much more than the body of water that she gave herself to. I’ve spoken to my beloved Jeff Buckley and i’ve even found myself donning Joan’s armor and even her fire….

And then there’s Anne.  Most of the time, i am so overcome by her work that i can hardly find the words to speak. There isn’t a language really. The first time i read “Her Kind” i was in eight grade. I don’t know whether i cried out of jealousy….or wonderment or gratitude. It seemed to say all the things i ever wanted to say…. but  didn’t know how to say it. One prophetic line says it all: A woman like that is not ashamed to die.

And you know what? We have all been HER kind.