Tag Archives: loss of a friend

(A) The Death Angel (B) Left Behind

The stars, she said, were angels watching us.
At 11:30 they buggered off for a smoke break.
She was carelessly dragged out of the way by police.
Left face down, her shirt covered in mud, by the sidewalk.
The guns go silent soon after, but she is left there.
The starlight is soft in early spring.
The Death Angel, around midnight, comes for her.
Her soul is sitting up, weeping, shattered at what was done.
“Have a smoke.” The Death Angel says. “You won’t get cancer now.
She takes a cigarette from the pack, looks out at the lit up town.
The Death Angels lets her cry, tears and rage, snot and ashes.
The Death Angels always let’s them weep before they go.
It was like a falling star that raised itself up to the sky.
I sat on my concrete patio, looking out at the college
The lights were bright and sickly and ugly, a thumb in my eye.
I looked up, and I knew years later, that was her leaving this world.
Her body lay in the grass until the next evening, then the autopsy.
They made her pretty for the funeral, but corpses are always ugly.
All these years later, I still sit on my concrete patio, in the cold
of early spring, and the cold of not having the one I loved.
Sometimes with a can of cheap beer, or just my rage and tears.
The night winds off the Rockies filled with ghosts that howl ceaselessly.
In the basement, where I hide after work, and pretend there’s a dream
that can warm the world, thaw the dead hearts, that are marching for hell.

The Assumption of Lilies

A night, cold in February, ghosts on my breath,
the silent fear, little fevers that come now
because no one can comfort you.

I cannot touch your face, or wipe away tears,
or raise the dead or even bring down the
Wrath of God. “Broken Arrow!”

Is love honey in Elysium, giving a sweet taste,
as the eternal sun dries the blood, heals pain?
Does it’s taste tell you, you are remembered?


No tracks in the snow, but you walked on air.
What turn into the cold snow, moonlight, was taken?
Lilies lain on your head would let you Assume.

Percival I want to be, to give that Holy Water
to your thirsty lips, and restore your aqua eyes
and that laughter, that can put the pieces back.

The haunters follow us, ever after they claim us.
Maybe that flaming sword could slay them,
but you never had it put into your hand, despite holiness.


I play these strings, hoping to make the notes
your laughter so they will love you too, and forever.
Love you as I have always loved you.

I play these strings, to remember, sunlight warming
your skin and the days in childhood paradises and
feel the radiating warmth again, of a perfect summer.

I play these strings, to resurrect you, so you can follow me
from the underworld or a cell, or a lonely grave, bring you home.
But to play these strings I must look back. Always look back.



Northern Dark

Kristen sits on the bed, only in her briefs, smoking a French cigarette.
The sunrise is weak and watery; it makes her skin marble pale, distant.
The freight train rumbles by, it’s horn the howl of an enraged demon.
She is enraged and numb and distant, only that same demon can hear her howl.

Coffee with her before I go to work, before she leaves for Rochester, gone forever.
She is in her old and stiff leathers, holding her scratched helmet, already gone inside.
There’s nothing holding her here now, and a shared past now ruined pushing her away.
I love her, but she only came for a bed, and someone to hold the sky up a little longer.

I watch her put on her helmet, fire up her motorbike, and speed away, leaving for good.
I watch until she’s out of sight, knowing I didn’t make her go, but I couldn’t make her stay.
The living room/bedroom/den still smells of her exotic cigarettes, homemade, lilac perfume.
I walk to work on campus, heart aching, and hoping she finds peace up in the northern dark.