A Reading

Last Sunday I fell on my face. Not figuratively, which would have been worse, but literally. I was taking the stage at Bowery Poetry when I tripped on the stairs and fell down, my glasses skittering off into the shadows. That might explain the slightly stricken look on my face.

photo by the wonderful @heath_antonio

Here is the poem I read, written last September on the day someone I love died, titled Drawing:

I thought I might do a drawing today
and maybe you would pose for me
You don’t need to reveal anything that makes you feel uncomfortable
I can see all that I need in the skin under your eyes
and the positions of your fingers
and the width and length of your lips

Instead, a person I love died
and my eyes won’t work that way today
I won’t see fingernails or eyelashes
I won’t see the geometry of your crossed legs
or the devastation of the sunlight that rampages through your hair

The things I see are in-between this world and another one
The one that comes before and also after a world
that embraces both stages of infancy

His cold breath is on all our necks
He wears a watch that tells no time
that only ticks and does not move
that bruises and stretches and breathes heavily

This morning I felt the sun on my chest
like it didn’t know summer is over
It lit a new path for my feet to follow
and offered plausible explanations for
the lies I tell myself
about how I will draw you in stuttering sunlight
and ask you to tell me everything,
like I don’t know summer is over

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