AFTER THE FACT
Thought about you today, nearly thirty-seven years after the fact.
Years since you stole your father’s gun, took it in your small grip,
And blew out the organ of your soul,
Flying from that cramped bathroom, into heaven,
Or into nothing at all.
Almost forty Christmases since then.
So much time.
You don’t exist on the internet.
But I saw the tape Dad made in 76, interviewing you about your depression
for his film class.
I saw your small head, your shoulders, those big eyes darting--
Gathering thought for your next words.
Such a bundle, a universe inside you.
Those days, while I played mindlessly in the next room,
You sat with coffee, or dusted, or washed, or folded clothes,
With Maud or Mary Tyler Moore on television.
Up and down the hallway.
Your mind turning like a wheel.
Lust for your own demise following you, room to room,
While I chattered away in sunny selfishness.
Today I left work and took a short walk.
I thought how mysteriously my body slid from yours in June 68.
All of me began inside of you, and now
I am walking and you are buried in God-forsaken Beaumont.
I wonder if any of your clothes are still in circulation.
Polyester pants and turtle necks in some quirky store,
Reduced to retro-irony?
But you wore them without a shade,
Lovely in that long red vest with flowers.