David Hudson CC
After Mother’s Death
My mother never enters at the right
time, even in my dreams,
It’s been that way since I’ve known her
She was asleep on my arrival
and had nothing to say for years
I had to love her—there are rules
that sit in the gut, how we love,
regurgitate, turn sour,
bile pushes against the flap
keeping it in place—that love
a dandy mess of our insides--
we can’t escape even when we’ve
grown old, you see when she died
(never say when in a poem--
it’s not an essay) there was a long
complicated grief and panic rising
there was no control in this body
that pushed hard against her a lifetime.
Lost Wanna Die Moments
It’s a long road living with AIDS,
a constant surprise why I continue
when so many died. My body strong,
not exhausted. I lived on the right
side of town, not like my friend next
to a migrant worker building, drunken
fights, bodies thrown out windows,
bloody wounds late at night.
I sat alone vomit spewing, pressured
skull ache, over-the-toilet puking—
years I took that cyclic birth control
pill, each month a sour hell.
I prayed, not because I believed,
but a call of agony, take me please.
Then continued till the next wanna
die—that spiral with wretched
days, mood fluctuations, sleep
a wax, a wane, a wind-swept dame.
Shingles, like a lightning bolt--
nervous system fried—rapid
rupture, pierced eye made me cry,
please let me die. My body defied
calls for ease. Like Sisyphus
I trudged up mountains, ready
to fall down. Did you hear me god?
Your directions weren’t clear,
you said take the dirt road, watch
for the barn—used to be a barn
felled in a fire in 89—disappeared
like the too many gone. We live
in a vanishing world: loves of our
life, languages, species, ice floes.
My favorite Kosher Deli—Covid
closed—piled pastrami sandwiches
with Russian dressing, gone. My
cries to die circle like clock hands,
the waning moon, a steady tick tock
metronome. Yet I stand, a miracle,
on the road to the next mountain,
despite my near burnt down barn.
Julene Tripp Weaver, a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle is currently a Jack Straw Fellow. Her third poetry collection, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, won the Bisexual Book Award and four Human Relations Indie Book Awards. Her poems have been published in HEAL, Autumn Sky Poetry, The Seattle Review of Books, Poetry Super Highway, As it Ought To Be, Feels Blind; recent anthologies include I Sing the Salmon Home, and Rumors Secrets & Lies: Poems about Pregnancy, Abortion & Choice. @julenet.weaver & www.julenetrippweaver.com
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