Grocery List

I get all twisted around in this town
interstates loosely hung around
the bodies of hills;
Internal senses of direction are displaced.
I’ve forgotten the learned facts of geography
North and South running up to down,
East and West running left to right.
Taught by maps and maps,
now shredded in my mind.
Here, in this southern city,
I’m not sure which way to fly home.

Upon this stiff pillow,
halfway back from keeping your future alive,
I dreamed of a version of the woman you’ve lost.
She ate ice cream with us -
that is how one enjoys life.
We called a family meeting; we
surrounded her body.
She was not ghost-like, translucent and dull
but opaque and magnetic.
We were forced to discuss the terms in which
we could keep her.

Kali stood in the middle of us four,
a materialization of the past days
spent arranging the specks of your lives
in strategic locations about the new rooms.
Walls then covered to a degree in which an outsider,
peeking through the tall windows,
may feel as though he were privileged to a private viewing
of the art show of your lives.

It finally came down to her:
“Why can we not keep you?”
Our pockets deep enough to tuck her away for weeks
while she comforted our hips,
her feminine heart strong enough to crutch us through grief.
“Why can I not keep you?”
he said in his mind,
but passed souls who appear in dreams
can hear what is not aloud.
“Because I am dying.”
And she smiled.
And there I was, still
halfway back from keeping her alive.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa never seemed so poignant
of desinence.
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