N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 1
R. J. MERRITT
Through the Semmering streets
In the soft, wet, snow
Exhausted we tramped back home
Pulled off our boots
And drank a toast to Winter.
I come in from a journey.
A fire is burning
And you have lit your body
With the warmth of perfume.
On the threshold, the night
Sliding under your silky dress.
I know once I asked you to marry.
But it was already too late. Too many
Words and un-words.
The phone's ring of my surrender was real,
Not the silence of that other night
You transformed to bells
That cracked your skull.
You never saw the fingers of David sling the
snowballs that splatted cold insults.
Red welts appeared, grew,
spread, arms to body.
Found a home in sweating flesh that would
vent far future don't-want-to-die raspy
The bloodless spear
Thrust cleanly through
Strokes like snowflakes
A woman I know,
When making a visit to Minnesota,
Recognized her brother by his cough
From across the room.
One row in front of me,
Inside a darkened auditorium in Orange County
About to turn the pages in a program,
I saw your wrists emerge from tight white sleeves.
Disappearing around a corner
In a Washington hotel, a swing
Of brown hair.
It could have been you.
And once in San Francisco
Looking down the lobby stairs
I saw your face
Looking up at mine.
That night in Albuquerque where you lay
Beneath my moonful tears
I recited all that I recalled of our first date.
That night on shining snow in Semmering
The plot line now is lost,
My tears are brine.
What was it-Twenty
How I yearned to see you (alive)
For dinner in Denver:
My flight never left the ground.
As far as I can get.
Arroyos filled with stormy tears.
Half a rainbow,
Then another, and this one
Double, intense, complete
Green, yellow, orange, purple
Against the Rocky Mountains.