|Aug/Sep 1998 Poetry|
The Note I Didn't Leave
I forgot tonight that
you are away, fooled by the light,
the country music left on for the cats.
Lulled by the home of it all, the dog whines
to stay, but I zip my jacket,
stolen cigarette between chilled lips.
We head into the dark. Lines from
your mother's hurricane poems
my head. Your laundry snaps
in the cold bright of a Cheshire cat
moon, 40 knot wind.
Just for a moment I imagine
gathering it up, bringing it in.
Since You Asked
There was a certain safety in
non-numbers, in an island
14 miles from any coast. The rain
fell sideways. Women waiting
on the dock for a twice-weekly ferry
wore no lipstick, there
were deer on the lawn at dusk.
I had drowned the static
in my head with everything except
absolute quiet. The only phone,
a real glass booth in the center of town,
and beach glass scattered the shore
like fake jewels seeding tourist
mines. Ebony still washed up
after southeast storms, legacy of
an 1860's shipwreck, and the wind
twisted bayberry into apparitions
impossible to imagine. The sun rose
and set in the same ocean.
The boys brought me a bear
last week. Shot it in Maine,
strapped the carcass to the seaplane
pontoon to bring it here.
Ginger and I took a deer
from whole to burger in three hours
once. I've learned a lot in 14 years.
They figured I'd know how.
On my last beach walk before
the hurricane I memorized the shore,
before the wind and waves had their way.
Last evening those same boys shot off a
rocket, packed the thing with twice
the recommended hit of powder Quite
a sight. Young Aisa said
it went beyond forever, but
then it dropped into the Sound.
It didn't float.
The moon was full last night,
refection off the water so
intensely bright I
didn't need a torch to guide me home.
Nobody stops me when I walk alone.
I walk alone at night.