Bio Note: I have had the great fortune of having traveled a bit when I was younger which led to some life-changing meetings. One of the people I met 42 years ago is a member of this community. On the same trip I met the sister of the man who is the subject (or object) of these poems. I met him 4 years later. He was a beauty of a human being and even led me to a love of Vegemite due to its positive associations with him. Another fortuitous meeting has been with Alan Walowitz, with whom I have co-written a book — In the Muddle of the Night — due out from Arroyo Seco Press eventually.
“No ideas but in things” — William Carlos Williams A shattered cologne bottle. Your workshirts repurposed as teddy bears. A discarded flask with a worn engraving. A box of letters on thin blue paper. The shirt I wore the last time I saw you. The whiskey you drank, still hard to swallow.
Originally published in The Fox Poetry Box
He ghosted me everywhere, like Jesus appearing on toast, I elevated him and found him popping up when I least expected it – in songs or scents – in a bearded man similar in appearance. When he dis- appeared I despaired and prayed, drank wine like water, held his ashes like relics, and doubted they could be the body, wafer thin, I broke bread and hoped to make him whole again.
Originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig
©2020 Betsy Mars
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