Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

for paul

it has taken me years to work up the courage
to sit across a table from you

to finally face you
as the living laugh
and clink their glasses

looking so lovely in the bistro light
even with the back of your head blown off

of course
you being fabulous
thought to match the blood with your tie

i wear my blackest evening suit
and veil

we begin to reminisce
about the last time
we saw each other

we had made love in oberlin
just before being forced to grow up

then moved with motives
and other reason lovers
to opposite sides of the world

the last phone call
we spoke of strong names for my coming twin boys

you wept about the ultimatum wedding present
bestowed by your new bride
an unwanted vasectomy
badgered you about
until you finally had

san francisco, money, and drugs
san francisco with a lack of money and drugs
and the problems which lie therein

i tell you about the day i ran into your mother
in a crowded outdoor market downtown
she told me you had been dead
five years
the victim of depression and a rifle
at the end of your bed

my breathing stopped
the buildings of the city exploded above me
into a burning swirl
my knees crashed to the ground
radishes and peppers
fell into a fissure of rumbling pavement

children in darkened corners say
my screams still echo
through abandoned subway tunnels

you explain all the why’s

i tell you
i like to remember your hands
lighting candles on the table
in your first cramped studio apartment
cooking buffalo chili
telling me about your newest composition
lamenting the bank job
making plans timed by clocks
that never wake a person who is dreaming

there is no check to pay

so we say our good nights and i love yous

one last kiss
before you put on your pin striped fedora

watching your ghost disappear into the rush of yellow streaked traffic headlights

knowing i will never stop looking
through peep holes for your eyes

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