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November 9, 2022 Poetry

3 Poems


3 Poems photo

Bury me on Bathurst 

I hear different words repeating:
Spadina Road,

French instructions for how to secure your own oxygen mask before helping the person next to you. 

I see icicles forming down the lengths of tree branches,
open graves, 
Jewish stars adorning the tops of raw wooden caskets.

We are asked who would like to view and identify 
I hear sobbing 

I am burying two fathers. Now I am the only one with a dad. 

Three scoops of dirt.
One from me,
one from you,
one from my mother.
His friends will stay and shovel until he is completely buried. 
The ultimate mitzvah - the dead cannot pay you back. 

My uncle says his body probably accounts for about 30% of the weight of the casket

He laughs, amused at his cold and calculated statement
I laugh, the familiarity of men who try and mathematize loss.

The rain lets up for the 18 minutes it takes to bury the body

Back at Spadina Road the phone rings, 
he’s breathed his last breaths and there is no more pain for him. 

We think of everything he won't live to see
crowning heads of infants emerging from my own body and white dresses, 
flower petals and rich cream sheet cake with spring colored icing. 

I weep. 

I pour grey goose into my orange juice because I feel that’s what a normal person would do in this situation. 

I will take his last name. I will learn to love baseball. I will try to help fill the void. 


Traveling Munchausens

New York City is dirty
according to Sally Draper 
and myself
And you can get killed in four seconds
just crossing the road
If you ask me you could die more easily here than
any other place on planet earth

At the Bowery Hotel I google how to stop motion sickness 
Check drug interactions 
Wonder if I’ve taken my sleeping pills yet 
switch out down pillows for down alternative 
call the concierge – ask for ice to fix my whiplash

I am allergic to travel and traveling 

A cloud of black smoke wafts over soho like a storm coming quickly 
I ask him if this was what 9/11 looked like 

He said no,
not even close – it was more like a bomb cloud engulfing the city

I ask him if the smoke was from the engine fires
or the buildings collapsing — or both
of course it was both 

We pass Emily Ratajkowski and I try to run back to get a look at her face
just to see her beauty in person.
We were looking at the same fire. 

And for a second I wasn’t afraid
of the black billows coming my way.

Fortress 19

We spent the better half of the year indoors 
hands bound to phones like shackles
eyes locked to screens 
breath fog on windows
looking out into nothing

We ate bread in its myriad forms 

We popped pills to hide from the pain,
to feel the pain,
to quite literally get high
to stomach the debates between a fascist and a nice enough guy

We drank low sulfite wine and screamed from the top of a balcony
that overlooked the medieval roof of Chateau Marmont

We cried
silently and quite loudly. 
We made purchases –
belgian linen slip covered sofas, le creuset, diamond rings

We tried to fit ourselves into circles when it wasn’t clear what shape we were at all 
we only put 2000 miles on our brand new car 

There are certain things that would devastate other people to hear
so you just keep them to yourself and collect them like cups on your bedside table
And what a nice collection you have