Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ken Gurney


This lumbering sleep
meanders through
the frenzied black.
Dianne slaps the pillow
four times, swats
separate moon beams.
Her trembled body
tasks a whole breath
to a staggered minute.
This curtain I close
traps the moonlight
within the bulbous comforter.
When she wide-eye stares
at me, sees nothing, my startled
breath exclaims her waking.

Paula? Karla? Emilia?

Whoever you are
I will not be here
in the morning
to accept
the pottery shard
upon which
you serve
the eggs
and fried potatoes
and I think
the floral pattern
of your house
attracts more bees
than butterflies
though it does smell
and while your
clock ticked
with great consistency
I counted
all the books
on your shelves
and there are
about the civil war
and only two
new york times
best sellers
and over
eleven hundred
poetry books
by authors
I do not recognize
and twenty-six
by poets I’ve read.


My friend, Sara,
tells me I won’t be in Heaven
for various reasons
mostly having to do
with my not being a Christian.
I know she says it out of concern,
not spite or being mean spirited.
I know, as a good Christian,
she loves me in spite of my
glaring religious deficiency.
I know she says prayers
for my good health, and
that on my own, I will find a way
toward her heaven.
I love Sara, too, and send
my heathen-pagan prayers
to her and her family
wishing them the best
of life and health and happiness.
Only geographic distances
keep our friendship quiet
and her days busy themselves
raising a child and loving her husband.
Sara never spelled out to me
how she views the Christian heaven,
but I know a little bit of it
would be spending time with Sara―
which I did for many years
on this wondrous Earth
and count every one of those days

Two P.M. Tuesday

The sign said back in an hour,
but she lives via New Mexico time:
so she might return tomorrow,
or some day later in the week,
or she’s at the bar next door
with an early margarita
or she’s back and forgot
to take down the sign.

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