Janet Buck


Between my head and my hand, there is always the face of death.
    -Francis Picabia (1878-1953)

Christmas lights have decked your house
for eighteen months
as if you're hanging cherry pits
of a futile wish, plastic
sprigs of neon green
to drown the immutable dark.
His truck still sits on vulva ruts --
mosaic mud -- an albatross
in sprawling jungles of yellow grass.
Death and love are always
messy taffy pulls.
Everywhere your fingers reach,
some brand of thanatopsis lives.
His garden tools all vices of a memory.
If graves are just a dry tureen,
why do they adhere like tar,
turn forward into festered wounds?

You save his voice on mini-tapes.
Listen to its orchestra
for sanding down the silences.
Use it like a sleeping pill
when clocks become a ticking bomb.
His pipe still packed with fragrances
you hated then and now embrace.
His baseball hat is nesting birds
in cradles of a fallen oak.
Every time I bring the mail,
your housecoat wears the painted tear,
its canvas tired and shrinking
as the grief grows tall.
You read his name like sonnets
in a land of prose.
His Lazy-Boy just looks at you --
a boulder in a hollow cave.

Janet Buck
Date of Birth: 8/9/55
Location: Medford, Oregon
Email: jbuck22984@aol.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/jbuck22874/whatsnew.html
Publications: The Pedestal Magazine, The American Muse, Three Candles, Southen Ocean Review, CrossConnect, OffCourse, Runes, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Recursive Angel, Poetry Magazine.com , Stirring V4:E1, V2:E5, V2:E2, V1:E2
Books/CDs: Calamity's Quilt, Reefs We Live, Before the Rose, Ash Tatoos
Awards: Kimera's Poetry Contest 2001, The Thunder Rain Award 2001, Kota Press Anthology Prize

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