The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Elisavietta Ritchie
ENOUGH WORDS IN THE AIR
You up and died, damn it, when we were in full
swing, floated aloft in our communiqués
through the stratosphere every day —
No need to speak, we could hear the tones
of each other's ephemeral words
on the invisible page.
Like kites, we wafted over our other selves, bound
to still other selves on the earth, worlds
that kept reeling us back.
How to exit in style? Death was near, you knew.
No illusions of permanence then, enough
of our words in ink and in print.
We ghost-spoke till the end, a fortnight beyond
the joke the day you discovered somebody had
already filled in the hospital blank: deceased.
Was it fitting they burned you?
You spewed your gray and white flakes
like shreds of ripped drafts into the wind.
They stuffed your leftover cinders into a jar,
sealed this in a vault with a solid brass plaque.As if you could not escape into me.
How one bite
leads to the next . . .
That should be rather
the final couplet
of a list of adventures
from the first awkward graze
in the movie-house dark
or a borrowed car
or dim grove
to the full bit in a motel
cheap by the hour
(where Housekeeping forgot
the sliver of soap
in its give-away wrapper)
or the Waldorf-Astoria
(how could you pass up
those mint chocolates
on the pillows)
wherever, whenever, however, why
are no longer germane
one bite of chocolate . . .
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