to Diablo, who has recently died

just when I thought
the tide of grief was receding, it
rushes in again. fuck. you
know how much I loved you, right?
please tell me you did. I couldn’t
bear it if I thought you died
not knowing.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t much use
to you at the end. I learned
something about myself and how
I’m really not much good with
the dying. you were a great little
guy, with a huge heart. everyone
who ever knew you
loved you. you tried to go home
with every delivery guy.

you were often naughty, and
that made you wonderful. you
were more like a dog
then a cat, which I must admit
I often found annoying. but you
were so smart, and so human;
I swear you understood
every word I said.

you chose me
that day 15 years ago, and
I never regretted it.

I hope you come back to me
when you’re ready.

idol

I read a book
about Sylvia Plath
and despair. it seems
so much easier
to write poems that
scorch the earth
when you’re not planning
on being around when
those cruise missiles
touch down.

well, I do not plan
on dying, ever,
so where does that leave
my stabs at poetry?

blinded,
broken, Oedipus at Thebes
could relate.

maybe I’ll just wait
until everyone I know is dead
before I document
what I really think of them.

last wishes

you were having problems
and I said, “that can kill you,
please don’t die” and you began
to joke about dying, telling me
your last wishes. I rolled my
eyes and started upstairs.
you said, “you’re not even going
to kiss me. this could be
my last night on earth”
I turned around and said,
“my kiss does not
signify acceptance
of your death” and then
I kissed you four times
and then three more times, and then
I sniffed your mouth
like an animal does, like my cats do to me,
to see how close you were
to death. you smelled fine.
you made fun of me for it
and you’ll be sorry if that
was the last thing you
said to me before you died.
but you’ll be sorrier because
I will never forgive you for
dying on me like that, when
what ails you is so easily
remedied by modern medicine.

pyre

I’ll be the one to light
your funeral pyre.
my heart is already aflame,
steady as a sanctuary lamp,
it won’t take much
to set the rest of me alight.

if I do it quickly enough,
no one will be able
to stop me.

maybe once you’re
beyond the veil, you’ll see
how pure and steadfast
my light was.
maybe then you’ll wish
you had let me love you.