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I'm not scared of death,
I'm afraid of what happens after.
A poem every day.
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2016
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for the early morning teach

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she's young, beautiful and thinks her life is cursed,
in the past, subject of some of my poems, her health to nurse,
yet, as is normative, you fall into & out of a well of touch,
until you accidentally once again path cross,
she provides a precision mathematical status update

"i'm fairly certain things are like at least 38% worse."

it is 1:38AM for you,
the not unnoticed ironic minute and hour
when the night ether has prematurely worn off,
rising time close but not nearly close enough,
a dark dose of a sleeping nurse's aide seems inappropriate,
and TV reruns seem like an insult to your brain

instead you turn on some belle string musique,
a Grande Messe des Morts,
a chorus,
singing a high mass for the dead,
while opening all your various email luggage and baggage,
smiling as you read a poetess's message of
laughter behind tears

"i'm fairly certain things are like at least 38% worse."

and Mississippi ******,
your uncontrollable mixed drink of her emotional
Grenada grenade cocktail,
flavored with musique, paintings, and words and a nearby beloved's
gentling sleep sounds,
has you writing your own protest poem,
your very own,
oy vey, grande messe,
about lives that were supposed to be
pictures of perfect artistry
and for but a word or two,
instead, a painting of a life that got hung upside down,
and indeed,
leaving a grand mess and no one to help clean up


alternatively weeping, laughing as you are thinking,
smiling recall
Laurel and Hardy's summary definition
of living a life's of ill begotten, misventured adventures:

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into !"

but 38% worse?

not an even-steven rounded up 40%,

should I write you only 38% of a poem, teach?
or more accurately, more mathematically,
138% of what was writ before?

and you recall your older, prior words
about the love hate affair between
you poet,
and the beauty of written brevity
(her style)

and you give her this then,
this rambling, scrambled, attention paid notification,
word attentiveness, a summary of your readings
of her cheddar sharp and honey mustard sweet retorts of
pained poetry,

it is insufficiently but perfectly sufficient,
a summarizing phrase that opens
and yet
briefly encapsulates all that
you are feeling for her

"thinking of you"

or the 38% larger version thereof -


*"Well, here's another 38% more
nice poetic mess
you've gotten me into!"
2:44 AM,
of course
Ophelia Feb 2018
in the cool of the evening, He told her,
"there's an art to being still."
(she and the ribcage man choke on apple seeds and venom)

she guesses she didn't learn it soon enough.

"don't ever leave me."
she is small
and new
and can feel the sun on both sides when He smiles and traces constellations on her palm
and the wish is not selfish

not yet.

— The End —