Always Messing with them Boys
Jessica Helen Lopez                


when no one answers your phone calls,
when the rain is dripping on the pitched roof of your home
when you canft stand one more thought about the absence
they are all sleeping
the way your daughter does in her bed now
and what is left of your ragged breathing
is a poem you may never write

I wonder if that is what happened to her
my friend alone in the crypt of her apartment
saying good night to the moon, blowing out the last candle
on her night stand
did she hum softly to a Celtic drum?
did her hair cascade across her bare shoulders, the milky white
of her neck
what last bone broke inside of her?
was it the rib?
was it the third phone call that fell on deaf ears?
how did she stumble into this fate?

I have dreamt her solace before
held it close like a numb knife to my neck
imagined I might
in the shower
the closet
alone in the cushion of my bed
lick the salt of loneliness
and curl around my shoulder blades
one last heaving time

men will walk away from this perfect sadness
leave their unused boxes in the corner of a room
dust in the shape of a coffin where his favorite couch stood
now removed, a letter like a bomb on the kitchen table

for a mother and her little daughter to grope at, wipe
confused cheeks against their tears ?
how they glimmer

this is a summer of loss, cruel sunshine illuminates
every perceptible corner of your grief

we cannot hide from it
we must stare into eyes like mannequins
and realize they are our own

we will sing a dirty limerick
a drunken brawl song and wail away the dead
we will burn this house
say goodnight moon
spit the smoke from our mouths
and crush the last cigarette
with our bare feet

the poets will have their say,
they will

inhale the pain

and a brief candle
will exhale
for good