POEMS BY EVANGELINE WEISS
Dead you on Video
strange grainy truth
Maybe not ready to remember
how awful you looked
before you died
how wonderful you looked
before you got sick
how miserable and unholy
biting my nails
at your New Years Eve party.
All muscle and hope,
you disclosed your diagnosis
on the same brown couch
I’m sitting on now,
at your memorial service,
watching the same television
I always wanted you to turn off.
it’s dead you on video.
And I’m helplessly absorbed
by your edited-in-smile-at-six
picking up the wagon handle~
pudgy fingers, stomach distended.
You’re 6; you’re 10; you’re 18;
that’s a wilty corsage
you got your prom date.
I met you
On new years eve
When you left
your wedding ring
in the punchbowl
At your husband’s office party.
I asked you what it was like
To grow up in the South.
You said you have a certain appreciation
for the peculiar.
(You leave that part out when you tell the story.)
On our second anniversary,
Your father has a stroke.
This is the third Amtrak train
I have taken to a sickbed--
One long twisted night
on a sour air conditioned train car.
Two teenagers across from us
Share a bottle of Blackberry brandy
And watch suspiciously as you rest your head
on my breast.
My arm is wet under your cheek.
I already know the way home.
Can you guess
How many sighs are held hostage
by the curve of your breast?
I saw you in the spaces between tombstones,
throbbing among the dead.
How neatly we strolled in search of typography
Through this history of flesh patina mausoleums.
You make your way through minutes
By mixing the colors right.
There’s plenty of time for texture,
warm lips soft cheek.
We walked in the graveyard alive
But in our hearts
We were dead already safe already gone.
Looked up and saw my trembling need:
A miserable fear seeped off of me
And got caught up in the breeze.
I want to believe
So many tender flowers survive.
Leaning into you, I feel your hips
fall, I smell the earth beneath us,
wet brown stories told in mud
of how we love down so deeply.
You the fall the graves the trees
Can you guess how many bones snapped
Under the weight of our wetness?
Your mouth watched me
roll on towards winter
and the sighting of Kenyon Green.