Paul Hostovsky


I love sitting here opposite you in our underwear,
talking about death. We sip our tea together
after making love on your all-encompassing couch,
and I assert there really is no death, there is only

life and love, which have no opposite because
they are all-encompassing. Then we hug and kiss
and you tell me about your sister-in-law’s mother
who recently died of pancreatic cancer. It took

three months, you say. She was fine one day and the next
in so much pain that three hours of that kind of pain,
not to mention three days or three weeks or three
months would be more than you or I or anyone

in the world should have to bear. I lean over
and give you a peck, and go into the kitchen to make
more tea. I stand there looking at the flame for a long time--
maybe three minutes--before the water starts to boil.

Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart Prize, the Muriel Craft Bailey Award from The Comstock Review, and chapbook contests from Grayson Books, Riverstone Press, Frank Cat Press, and Split Oak Press. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. His latest book of poems is Dear Truth (2009, Main Street Rag).

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