The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Brad Bisio

In Front of this Stone

I don't know
what the hell I'm doing
here. I don't know why
I keep coming back.
What do I think you're going to do,
rise like some god-son Jesus?
It's like both of you are gone.

Mom barely leaves her room,
goes on the back steps to smoke
in her night gown and slippers,
and that's about it. They almost shut the electricity off
last month. Don't freak, but I'm writing
the checks and signing Mom's name. Still can't

balance very well. Looking at the sun
behind that elm, it's got to be
at least an hour now . . . maybe more.
Remember how you used to tell me,
Would you get yourself
a goddamn watch for chrissake.
I don't have much use

for time. When the afternoon bell rings,
I go home. When it's dark,
I sleep. When there's light,
I wake. I eat when I'm hungry.
What are you doing eating cereal
at 5 o'clock? That's not dinner food.

Tonight I'll make rice and bean burritos
and steam some broccoli for us, if I can get
her to eat. That's a decent dinner, right?
There's plenty of room for your beer now
in the fridge. What does it matter anyway?
We're all going to die.
I don't mean to imply

that I told you so. It doesn't make me feel
any better. You were right; math is important.
That doesn't help either.
I hear your headstone words when I'm not here:

If There's Nothing New Under the Sun,

Go Above the Sun

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