after a song by Tool
If I can’t cry for you, how can I cry
for myself? Someday, they’ll find you,
lightning burned tongue, wings long pawned,
liver eaten by vultures, a ring of ashes around
your head. I haven’t passed more than a few
hours without your name on my lips. So much
is left to say. The cars never stop coming.
The crows argue in my chimney. No one
could hurt me so well if they didn’t love me.
The hours have to be filled somehow.
When I put her to bed, my daughter will say,
I love you. I’ll miss you. Goodnight. Does anyone
miss you? Stumbling into the night. So cruel,
you should wear sunglasses so no one
can see your eyes. Every day and forever.
I love you. I’ll miss you. Goodbye.
You’re Tougher Than a Bump of Raw Medicine
from a line by De La Soul
A ghost whose tie will never lie right.
A ghost with see-through teeth hoping to impress.
I’m trying to master the secret language
that only we speak, the language
of our bodies. You are a beautiful dream
I never want to wake from.
Four hours pass between glances.
Four hours pass and I can’t step away
from your voice. I need it like caffeine
in the morning, like the plans that keep
me hoping: this time. Let me soak in the warmth
from your smile and never know fear again.
Baby, you’re like the sunset after a hard
day, let me hold your face in my hands
until I grow solid. Let’s load up my battered
car, travel the country solving crimes. Let’s
climb the mountain of everything that’s fallen
away to lead us to these days. Let’s be happy,
baby we deserve it. It’s so close, I can see
it in your eyes.
Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than thirty books, including the poetry collections Riceland, The Bottle Episode, and his newest, Having a Baby to Save a Marriage, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.
Image: Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons