Sunday, July 22, 2012

Box in the Medicine Cabinet After 20 Years

I slipped out of your life like a snake
on a tree trunk that effervesces slowly
as everything else in the forest a dance
of eat and be eaten, live from what's died.

The courtyard apartment, with the blue carpet,
the wedding plates hung on the wall,
our turtle named Goethe, plank floors in the hall—
someone else's death is inside of it now

but still there's a part of me there
away from the shame and regret of the flesh
inside the heart of it all
looking out calm at forgotten hillsides.


Jack said...

Selective amnesia can't remove something in the heart.

I love the second verse. Like, That would have been me.

Hannah Stephenson said...

This one. Heart-breaking and lovely (those things can go together).

"Goethe the Turtle"---wonderful.

I love how it ends. Not in despair, but able to appreciate some beauty there...

erin said...

oh, so much more! this is one of my favorite's of yours, william, the construct, the language, the sentiment, what can be read as the cheekiness of tense, live from what's died. and the specificity! the turtle, the plates, the plank floor, the box in the medicine cabinet itself. we are that specificity and yet in the end we are all undone. the calm acceptance of our outcome is a loosening of tension with the regret of flesh. (regret of flesh!) i love this. i love this.


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