LINGER sounds inviting,
a place to enjoy a glass of wine,
good food and conversation.
We want to talk about what matters,
we want to talk about death.
Write me a script
for a life like Helen’s –
living long and loved.
A gradual decline. Then, suddenly,
in three days
On the brick wall, the name
appears to be missing
a letter at the start.
I ask the waiter. Turns out we’re in
what used to be the OLINGER
And the dark brown water jugs
on all the tables? Apothecary jars
like ones once filled
with embalming fluid.
Short of Helen’s way, write me
a script for a pill to take
when I’m ready to die
though my sick, old body holds on.
Give me that semblance of control,
give me that choice.
I’ll pick up the tab.
The gray moth hovers – wings pressed against
the window, eavesdropping on young men’s
secret songs, leaving dust prints on glass.
Their lyrics are a gathering storm backlit
by the setting sun. Suddenly rain spills down –
as if sound could throttle clouds.
Seeping beneath the surface, fresh rhymes
search for the face of God –
low, at the bottom of things.
The cat purrs beneath the sill, tail flicking
to a metronome beat. The moth, damp-winged,
impaled on an extended claw.