Untitled Poem/Black Dawn

A new poem, no where near complete. My mother died last year, and I’ve struggled to find a way to write about my feelings of loss and grief, to express my loss, and I just have not been able to. In fact, as far as writing goes, it’s been so quiet, or I feel too tired, or cliche– I’m stunted.
About a month or two after her death (which was an unexpected and sudden death) I had one of my very few dreams about her, and in this dream I woke up with the words: “black dawn she is silent now”.
I wanted to do something with these words; after all they came from my deepest consciousness. They were given to me like a gift, like a message, but more like a code that I have lost the ability to decipher. Today, was the first day that I made something, anything from those words. And, something, anything that can even chip at the surface of my grief is something to me. It’s not a completed poem, the same as any poem that is published here, but at this point to put anything on paper, and then to transfer it to here is an accomplishment for me. So as it is, it is untitled.


Black dawn

minutes before,

the cock crows is
blue luminous light, a blink
a slit, below the horizon line

of earth as far as
we can see

from our own perspective
but, our eyes are closed.

We are all sleeping
except for the ghosts

who watch us
wishing they could hold us


I see her in my dreams


As I rise from my living death
she returns to her death,
real death,

languid, somnolent, cries:
don’t leave me.

She is silent now,
and I’m awake.

The Day after the Flood

I was in Copenhagen when I had learned that Carley was missing, that she had fallen in the Partnach River.

The dream is always the same.
Steel blue water, cold, silent, like a grave,
and it was a grave.
It had woke me, as it does,
at the point when I see her;
bloated and wedged between two erratic boulders,
ancient, tired rocks,
moved by glaciers, drowned by mountains’ rivers,
and left to press, and squeeze her
like rollers in an wringer washing tube.
Always the same bits of her flesh peeling away like dying salmon,
clouded lidless eyes,
and her name whispered, faint:

Golden Boy

They called him Golden boy.
I did not know this,
till I had read it in his memorial.
I did not know this
till his fiance spoke at his funeral.
It was meant to be his wedding.

We grew up together,
in classrooms,playgrounds, hallways, and neighborhoods,
my first crush,
my golden boy.
Shy, I’d wait for him to pass,
see him holding hands, kissing
his high school girl,
the one he would ask to marry,
and my stomach sank like swollen ships,
but vanished like the bermuda triangle, and
flipped as he’d pass by, and say
a quick hello.
My adolescent thumping throat, dry mouth,
I could barely breathe, or speak.
My secret photo, the one
I cut into the shape
of a heart and taped to my wall
like a celebrity from Teenbeat.
Oh, I had thought he was golden.

Four years, after high school,
on a street, I saw his fiance,
drunk, dressed like a nurse,
“we are celebrating, we are getting married,
say hello he is trying on his suit.”
The street had turned to halls
and school bells rang to send us to class,
there it was again, the thump and pit,
my heart sank, again, that young feeling
burned and wallowed in the ocean sand,
there goes my
golden boy, forever,
and I stopped in to see him
fitting in his groom jacket
his smile, bright as always,
“I read you were in a play”
he said,
“It made me proud to know you,”
he said,
and like it did when I was
twelve, thirteen,
fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,
and yes eighteen,
my heart flipped, olympic
gymnastic leaps, with ribbons connected to sticks, I was Nadia,
maybe someday they would get a
We would be like those stories,
lost true loves from high school,
golden boy and nadia,
nah di ah golden gal,
just the plain gal,
but of course I’d be beautiful in the future,
and he would be handsome,
and she would be moved on,
In life it could be possible.
Who knew what we would be like
at thirty
we were hardly
babies still
though we had no idea.

They called him golden boy
their prize son,
but he could not fly,
and so died
in his brothers arms
at the bottom of a building
one he had been riveting
that is what I heard.

They tossed a football from
convertible to convertible
“we celebrate his life”
his mom yelled,
as she held his fiance’s
hand, and in
a train of cars we
honked on the way to the grave site
and marched his black and gold
casket to the square hole in
the earth, bowed to say goodbye:
Good-bye golden boy,
Good-bye first crush,
Good-bye twenty-five, and thirty,
Good-bye silly fantasy of your
and she cried out,
his bride wailed like
an Irish mother on
the Irish sea
and ran from cemetery before the casket settled.
Her wedding dress,
swung empty in the closet, still
zipped in plastic.

She would wear it later,
but not for our golden boy.