In Memoriam

by Gary Percesepe

pari berk, 1973-2021

You’ve gone silent graveside
now we must speak for you

But you who called eleven times a day!
I’d rather speak to you

We drove home in shock
just the way we’d left

That night I felt you cold
in your shiny new coffin

But had no blanket
big enough to cover you

Earlier that day we’d taken dirt
by the shovelful 

We covered you with love
the way you’d covered us

That night I dreamt of
coffins under sail

And thought of the apartment
where I’d first known you

Beside the bruise-colored river
that flowed in both directions

Do you recall when we were young
we’d think there is always more to come?

Yet what we have now and barely remember
is the only thing we ever had

But I wish you summer-gold
hills of wild grass

A white room of snow at Steamboat
with no lift lines

And ice blue afternoons on the river
through the narrow channel to sea

Gary Percesepe is the author of eleven books, including three published in 2021: Moratorium: Collected Stories (Atmosphere Press), Gaslight Opera (Poetry Box), and Light Turnout (Finishing Line Press).  He resides in White Plains, New York, and teaches philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx.


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