INDEX of POEMS BY PERIE LONGO

What I Forgot to Write

the hole was too deep
the grave digger dug
deeper than he was tall
at the foot of the mountains
my husband loved
to cling to on his way up
those two breasts bared
to the air where he hung
between this moment
and the next
when we would all gather
speak pretty words before we
put him down
in that hole in that urn
his spirit I knew not there
so when the minister
called for his ashes
I just thought the hole
was too deep
the mountains too high
and remembered I left them
in a dark corner
of the motel room where the maid
wouldn’t see and carry them off
Wait I said jumping in
the hole of the car
barreled down the highway
five miles into town past
the eatery and pizza place
the one gas station, the bank,
the rusted wheelbarrow
filled with orange nasturtiums
beside the white woodframe house
where he grew up
to gather him press him
to my breast in the dark room
where he was
so light

(c) Perie Longo
From South Carolina Review, Summer 2007 and
Baggage Claim, 2014

 

 

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