Lament: a New Basement Page

You know, don’t you,
that there’s a place in Germany
along the North Sea,
where roses grow in December?

I saw them right before Christmas,
but you weren’t there.
You didn’t see them.
But I told you about them.

They say you see everything right
before the end.
your life flashes in a filmreel
so I suppose
you must have seen something.

If not the roses,
I hope you saw something
of the sort.

Impossible red in a place
where the sky greys over,
impossible joy before
the reel clipped
off.

for Mom

This was a longer poem, written in 1998, that meandered and was just really self-indulgent, melodramatic, etc. I’ve tried to go for a much more minimalist style and be deliberate about every image and sentence, which means this is only about 20% of the original poem. I prefer this version’s ambiguity. The film reel is a new image, too.

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