[Another beautiful lyric from L.E. Leone—enjoy!]
He used to be alive, and now
Now: this. Don’t look!
Close your eyes. Some of you
Gathered here may remember how
Stirred the molecules in the air he walked through
to convey meaning.
Yes, I loved him too, and it’s hard
the word “paisley,” for example,
dying with him. The way
that he said “paisley”—and so
many other words.
So many words, indeed, that it could be said that he
knew a language. That’s saying something!
The way that he reached into his pockets
whenever he needed a thing that he kept in his pockets.
Keys. His wallet. Loose change.
Lip balm. Or, in earlier times, perhaps,
A comb or condom. All of these things he touched,
as he touched our lives.
Sometimes he said, “What time is it?”
Once, I remember, we passed
each other on the street. “How are you?”
he said. We all
Probably, have had similar encounters.
Have a nice day.
I take it black.
There’s room for one more.
Other examples are of shirts he wore,
Things he read on the toilet and how
The bathroom smelled afterwards.
What was for dinner? (lunch? breakfast?)
Where he sat on the bus.
Cookbooks he looked at.
A mattress on which he left an
imprint, changed the nature of the springs
Empty shaving cream bottles he threw away.
Or how about the little lines and specks
that moved routinely across his eyeballs?
And who among us will ever see a shoe
string without reflecting
that his shoes had shoe strings.
Which he tied
Yes, my friends, his friends,
Life is a gift, it is clear because he made it clear to us, and death
is the ribbon.
He’s dead. You can open your eyes now.
Our friend is a ribbon.