shoulders squared, back curved (20170726)

never meant to be atlas

never willingly carried the world
on my shoulders

never wished
to be weighed down
by anything

but that candy you liked
–pecans wrapped around
caramel and brown sugar fudge–
weighs on me

wrigley’s double mint gum
always always in your jaw
even while you smoked

your favorite cigarettes
stain my fingers
linger in my hair
and my shirt

even your horrible taste
in music
your delight in department
store nachos with plastic
looking cheese
your willingness to
eat anything
and then diet for weeks

your utter obsession with
keeping secrets
so many
that you emptied out
and filled the house
with things and piles
of things

some days
the world seems like
a lighter weight to bear

Poem 20160306

every loss
is a taking away
negative
subtractive
a chunk of you or me
lost to time
or circumstance
or maybe malice

and you feel it, a vacuum
i suppose
in that emptiness
in your stomach
in the surprise asphyxia
of certain moments
in the way your eyes try
to see a missing item

–can you spy the difference
in these two images–

but if a loss is only
a cutting out
a phantom limb aching
below someone else’s knee
why does it weigh
so damned much