Wednesday, November 24, 2010




Unsettlement

Merriam-Webster’s,
The Elements of Style,
And an unsent postcard from Gros Ventre
That says “A-OK!”


101 Essential Hiking Tips,
Three Missouri travel guides,
And something called Beyond the Tetons!
--that card’s rocky sunset again.



From Shakespeare to Existentialism,
And a history of peace activists,
Along with that novel about the mass murderer,
You wanted me to read.


The Quickening of America,
The Design of Cities,
All texts I keep moving,
Tracing who you wanted to be.


Not the girl of 27, 583 ways
To make me laugh,
Able to set the world right
With a point of her finger.


Not the queen of bar trivia,
Or the emperor of the honest answer,
Patiently waiting while I flail
Through all the wrong words.


Those royal metaphors
Like the crown of thorns
You never asked for
But wouldn’t remove.


A martyr not simply by choice
But caught in some philosophical wasteland,
An expedition guide who’d lost count of the bodies,
An aesthete tortured by shame—


Burrowing through your heart,
Allowing no peace…
Like the calm that fell over me
With a brush of your shoulder.

2 comments:

Dave Marsh said...

This is the real thing--the cadences setting just the right pace, the honesty so beautiful, so much love, so much acceptance of grief and loss without a second's hesitation to remember the good (or vice versa). I hope you find a way to publish this broadly, even if it requires a preface. (It would in RRC for instance, but that isn't the more broadly I necessarily would restrict it to.)

I have thought a lot about grief, in general. This gets to the heart of it.

Danny Alexander said...

Thank you, Dave.