Since your death, I have imagined you
flying above me like a bird
desperate to take a shit on my head.
My grandmother used to say,
"When a bird shits on you,
it's good luck." Fuck that.
You flying above my head
is not how either of us wanted this to go.
Neither is me flying above you,
hence why I don't have as big a smile as you
like I am seasick from all this
flying around, the air an ocean,
you my anchor.
You were always my anchor,
you know, the one I could trust.
I know I could trust you not to look
up my skirt with me flying over you.
You were too concerned with the art
in things: the muffled language
you hear while flying over a roof
or past a window with just a bit
of wind blowing against your ear,
the language in church bells,
not the choir, the language in all music,
not just in voices. But here you are,
not flying for once. Though mountains ground you,
I know you want to float out of them,
like a coffin not buried deep enough,
like a coffin in flooded land.
Though you might want me to be your flag,
bearing a message to other travellers
on their way to the underworld,
I don't know what to say to them
except that poetry is in that voice of yours
deeper than the lowest note on the pipe organ
in a glowing church. That voice of yours
keeps me awake at night.
I hear you. I hear you. I swear to G-d; I hear you.
I should have known that something was up
when I answered the door to you
wearing a tuxedo. I didn't even know you owned one.
Look at that smile; it's like you're completely oblivious
to the fact that you are dead,
like you are completely oblivious
to the fact that you haunt me.
As much as the grass likes to forget
that it dies every winter,
as much as the church bells would like to forget
the space between their ringing,
as much as the cemetary would like to forget
what it feels like to swallow a body whole,
it would lift me higher
than you have me right now
to forget you.
Liz Marlow has an MFA and an MBA. When she is not collecting degrees, she enjoys looking at art and writing about it. One of her first memories was walking through the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with her father. Her poems have appeared in The Binnacle Ultra-Short Edition and Deep South.
The Ekphrastic Review
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