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the widow sky

by James L. Auerbach

our visits are
consistent, if infrequent.
and in each scene, the script
never deviates, even
with the featured
attraction subtracted.

her every breath weeps of
sorrow, each wheeze of
seventy-odd years an
even testament to bad
habits and worse
decisions. except
for him, best
saved for last.

he's still everywhere even
nowhere to be found, punctuation
on her sentence, cherry
on top, each image of
him a stamp on that moment,
the twinkle
of a supernova now singularity,
gorging on available luminosity, crushing
it all, spirited away.

look upon the sky and you're observing a past.

every waking moment, and what
are we but exponents of them, she
wills a delicate self to
forge or forage forward, a listless
likeness of the devil-may-care platinum
showstopper i recall. never
one to tempt the expiration
date, husbands were as jewelry
and debts, either displayed
or discarded but
always earned. we
side effects paid with
interest, if not in princple.

but now we lead with the
amnesia of revision, cradling
and coddling, mourning in
unison the smile, the
inverting quality of his laugh, the
realization that mutiple vows
guarantee at least
one broken promise.

look upon the widow and you're witnessing a future.

as for me, i share
the adulation and grief,
but not the mourning. too rooted
in the physics of defeat, we're
nitrogen cycles with
mantras, sustenance for betrayal as
much as pests.

but in tears celebrating
life absent loss, the memories are
keepsakes. ghosts perish
and our greatest joys anchor.
perhaps as fools these
become sufficient
heirlooms, requisite payment
for the sudden shift
of everything once loved. the eternity
of skies welcomes home the refugee

look upon the widow sky, and you're witnessing a present.


Author's Note: likely an uncharacteristically rough draft.

Posted on 07/07/2013
Copyright © 2020 James L. Auerbach

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Rob Littler on 09/30/13 at 12:03 PM

we're nitrogen cycles with mantras Brilliant! I bounce in and out of grief, regret, and shame even--knowing your truth in this piece, a sort of detached attachment. Do you have a cosmological egg-timer, and if so, is it wound?

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 11/08/14 at 03:01 PM

this poem is as varied as the sky. each stanza a beam sifting through the colander of clouds, shape shifting and glorious

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