Excerpt from KotaPress Poetry Anthology Volume 3, 2003
Your hair was the color of pearls,
but I didn't think they were real.
I couldn't admit to the ash
of your skin, its porcelain pose
on saucers of graves.
Two long days beside your bed.
A cradle I pushed but could not rock.
My eyes were grabbing renaissance.
I knew it but I acted blind.
You warned me of death and its salt --
how oceans are garnished with thirst.
You taught me how to rope and rise
a baby grand from dining rooms
of buried ships -- and still I
painted ivory keys of fingernails
neon shades of busy lies
with no respect for waning light.
A wish was stepping on my hands.
Too young to abide the wrinkling fruit,
I wasn't prepared for the rind.
"Consider a storm the polish of craft,
expect the ice to be sharp" -- you said,
but I sat deaf ten miles away.
I should have been there,
when the clock of your heartbeat stopped --
darning a prayer for the size of the hole,
as lungs collapsed like old cocoons.
Janet Buck is a three-time Pushcart Nominee and the author of four collections
of poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Three Candles, PoetryBay,
Red River Review, Artemis, The Pedestal Magazine, Gertrude, Southern Ocean
Review, CrossConnect, Offcourse, The American Muse, and hundreds of journals