I always catch the month early:
Have left November ungutted
on a block of ice.
But this date
is a fish that escapes my hook—
The number, too little
of a tank to hold
the loss of you.
Mom’s 3:02 AM phone call that you are gone surfaces again.
Her voice in my Galaxy.
She is no longer on any line. How long has that been?
In your last months,
You stopped watching the morning newscast in your well-worn brown
stopped wearing your Seiko, stopped grabbling for the day, or the year, or the
why you could no longer get out of a bed you don’t remember being yours.
[And this is so beautiful that I need it all in present tense.]
The day before you pass,
you see an upside down tree on the ceiling bearing
white leaves and blue fruit. Its roots, you say,
are flowing through several constellations.
A body of water emerges and you want to swim in its branches.
You hope I am not missing this—
Tell me, I look like an angel
as I hold the strawberry smoothie to your lips,
as you spit out the lure.
Victoria Nordlund is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her poetry collection Homer Saw a Wine-Dark Sea was published by Main Street Rag in September 2020. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. Visit her at VictoriaNordlund.com.
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