Our large auditorium

is much like

the inside of a barrel

with support beams exposed

like locked staircases over


and on the walls

painted men flourish

in golden frames.

On stage the speaker

sits off to the side looking

at her lecture notes as

she nods her head.

She then moves towards the


and begins to read aloud–

(With her words a thin sheath


Its surface, the edifice, is plied


“The title is

He’s Gone


Did you ever know him?

No I didn’t.

What’s the weather like today?

In this text,

the reader sees as much as he

wants to see

and it is a series of “routines.”


An old man stares into the

dark empty room from the

looking glass.

He sees under the sign

that reads ‘Western Europe,’

20 stacks of newspapers in 2

vertical columns.

He is a voyeur–

and the beautiful woman

is locked in a cage.”


This is about a poem being

read in memoriam.

It is being read

like a gold watch

though time is obstructed–

the old man who

cannot be with his lover,

Europe, stands in for the boy

who is no longer with us.

We sit here today

in silence remembering

how we ought to have said

hello to him.

The boy never spoke to any

one, though he beckons to



His mother sits on her hands,

pressing them against her

matted white gown on a

broken bed. Her quiet son

is now dead–

There is nothing to relieve her,

no verse that can unify

her thoughts and make grief

more defined.

She cannot capsule it in rhyme

like a sized-out square


taken under the needle and

plied with thread,

to hatch and pin down

her darkening undertow.

But even so,

after months of sitting

and nodding one’s head while

peering with a side-long

glance, the verse is made and

this strange looking

is so sought after:

“It seemed as though

her boy saw life through

books like they were

undulating suspended grains

or small specks of party colors

in a marble held up to his eye.

The funereal mother knows

she is now alone.

Alcestis longs for her child.”

I love you I love you I love….

Her hands are by her sides and

her dark hair clings to her

shoulders. She lies still on

the bed for the speaker

ringing out notes.