No Rush

Todd Dillard

There’s a man down the block screaming


It’s a great twilight for confessing:

air heavy as hands on shoulders,

clouds dark as a lover’s sleeping

head on a spill of white sheets.

Sometimes I imagine you in your death

the way I imagine my old New York roommates

shopping at grocery stores in other states.

You add rutabagas to your cart

as if you have nothing to lose.

You rip open a bag of Life

Savers as you wait in the check out line,

popping one in your mouth before you pay

because who cares? You only have this one

death. The flavor you pick is FIRST THANKSGIVING

AWAY FROM HOME and the sweet of cabernet

and tryptophan and char prickles your tongue

like the salt in tears. Last night I dreamed

grief was an unlit room that I had to clean.

Just as I figured out how to navigate its darkness

I put something away and had to learn all over.

You were there. You were saying why bother

when the room was only going to get messy again

and I told you if you weren’t going to help

at least get out of the way. It’s quiet now,

the storm splits open like sacramental bread,

and I love you I love you. Can you hear me?

Write me back when you have time. No rush.


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