Poems of the Week – 2013 Finalists Part 1

One Week Before Heart Surgery

last night I dreamt
Hemingway was alive

& only he & I & his fourth wife
knew he wasn’t long
from his second death

he was leaning back
against an armchair
in a bungalow he
rented month-to-month

speaking quietly
& sometimes

his wife disliked
my presence but to him

it seemed

my interest offered a break
from a Sunday of thoughts

I could tell he wanted to write
but knew he shouldn’t

finally his wife
lost interest in me

& it was only
he & I in a cab

drive by no one
on the outskirts of
Sacramento: he was out
of his element & we
passed an indoor stream
he discussed just enough for me

to realize he no longer
cared about trout

ours was a mild friendship we’d
agreed could last until six days before
the next death between us

& then
by the way he sat–

with one hand
over the other
on his cross-legged lap

gazing neither at nor
away from me–
I knew

time was up
for one of us

Once we note how numbers change
appearances we try others.
The gray-headed albatross loops the globe
in 46 days and the extent of
migration is greater than thought.
Across the square
an ancient dog labors,
one day won’t wake.
Night develops a faithful copy
others will scrape across.
As with certain advances
countries become little
more than geometries.
As small areas burn
and distant shapes occupy
something like fields
of vision.
The House

Nudged into an inner wall, witness
to every squabble, there was a nest
where grief lay its eggs. Their footsteps led there,
even walking away. Sorry joists

bulged like ribs. Across humming, ancient
wires, their house talked and talked, the present
they gave themselves for a miracle birth
of something flying, tired, out their chests.
* all poems selected from submissions to the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: