memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A poem

Where it happened

The sand is not precisely white-
more an expanse of empty, as death
to an atheist, there is no after-

life here has been radiated into null
space: no thriving planets, black holes,
Alamogordo gone nova, if you believe

hype tells the story (it doesn’t)
but you can land the shuttle nearby,
tap dance on the Atari tomb.

When the sun burst through the gap
in the curtains it was so bright
I had to squint to see the red slash

across the bed; no baby, never had been.
It was finished. We could go home.
our fearful trinity undone by nature.

Nothing was as we had expected:
barren land surrounded the motel,
science triumphed, deferred to the sun,

you started your period after all.
We had become wound together
until the world imploded, cast us out,

falling from the epicenter of "us"
rendered into relief, sadness.
Nothing made sense in the moment.

I drove back to Tucson, you slept,
face gaunt from crying, a stranger
who resembled someone I knew.

The view changed: white to brown,
to black as the sun slipped away
changing everything in a blink.

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