Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #17 : July-December 2012

Hugh Seidman

Crossing Bryant Park

      Susan Robertson (1943-1997)

      Rink down—up last fall mirroring summer.
      1200 steps to work—Seventh to Madison.

      First, past 50—your bridal two-step.
      New, wet grass invoking tomb.

      Father: suicide; Mother: survivor; Sister: fatal breast.
      Tai chi fighter, shrink, scholarship Bryn Mawr waif.

      Lungs sicker than said or known.
      Small talk—then you were gone.

      10,000 years ago: not statue, urn, stone.
      10,000 years ago: sexual proof of lives.

      Left you that August—who shall say why?
      Hammocked dozer; oil-slick lake rainbow.

      10,000 years ago: hope—oldest karma.
      10,000 years ago: friends—forever.

      Also—noduled, cut out womb.
      Transfusion, perhaps, the future tumor root.

      Tall, rawboned girl, in a brown poncho.
      Memoir of the body—10,000 years ago.

      Tears upon tears—more than for anyone.
      Susan—do you yet smile at dull woe?

      High-heeled graduates’ pale lilies, arterial roses.
      A couple’s extravagant, tortuous kisses.

      Heard your name, as if called.
      Neurons that will not be annulled.

      Nothing to do but abhor the wind.
      Implored the immortals for solace.

      Smut-mouthed Brigitte: vulva peppers, black rooster.
      Red-tongued Kali: lei of heads, corpse trampler.

      Reached at last—furnace blast.
      A few pounds of dust, ash, bone.

      Carbon tundra turning under suns.
      Born to your planet—less than a grass pebble.

      [First published: The Cafe Review (Winter 2011-2012).
      Revised Version: December 2012.]