"everything extraneous has burned away

this is how burning feels in the fall of the final year."

Paul Monette, "Here"

everything nearing the cadence (or misty-eyed bow)

you dangled perilously near the edge of the proverbial cliff

so to speak

fading was not your style but you faded

eyelashes fluttering up at me

lost pale irises and delicate skinny lashes

sore and red rimmed and feverish glassy

oh but you knew how I looked by heart

so it was not so bad to be blind

dying was difficult though


dying was hard

isn't it the least bit strange

while floating in melancholy you always remember

the peak of the hill the last rose of summer

the most brilliant red after all the pinks that came before it

our best memory on a pedestal right before your downfall

silence on the roller coaster pause at the top and then screaming

and yet I struggled most profusely

to pinpoint our best time

for I was always worrying

about money first and then you my love

so what was the high point?

something to mull over coffee and crumbs

if you were here for real

the funeral blurred senseless so I just dreamed

me back on Long Island when you told me

you had progressed into AIDS

and then stuck your feet into water bitingly chilly blue green

and August kernels of sand rough against your toes

you always had cold feet (bad circulation)

and somehow I felt as though you brought the cold pond back

from Long Island that dying summer and it

seeped into your body and wouldn't leave

not when I rubbed your feet

or the blankets but August

if I could fly away back to that hot surreal impossible day

when you told me

Rog you'd be warm again

and then we could work on that immune system

sobbing like a

Shakespearian jilted lover

when you visited me in dreams you so perfectly recalled

tiny bones in your nose the crow's feet shaggy hair

coarse sweatshirts and every vein on your hands

I'd pull you in and embrace and not let go

even you (the dream you I suppose) would push away oh so gently

and confess everything I have sinned my Rog

promised I wouldn't sulk and squat in piled up memories

how quickly we go back on our word

remember that evening in the intensive care unit? when you swore on

bright pink jello and the plastic wrist band you wouldn't



but you did