Today I cleared out the bottles from three weeks ago, your last birthday party.
On the pavement, by accident or on purpose, six or so broke. I swept up. I was cleaning
anyway, tidying the place up for you.
I pointed out the cabinet with photographs, they’ll
be going to your parents. There’s the French cheese
you bought too much of, which I think tastes vile, but the custard
is almost finished. Where to leave the keys, I don’t know.
What if I paint my nails red and sharpen a pencil.
Draw a straight line down the page.
With a minus sign on the left and on the right a plus.
On one side of the line IKEA, where I won’t be going anymore because I only ever went with you.
Underneath: you calling from work, calling about work, me calling you at work.
That’s all been scrapped.
The other side states I’ve gained a family.
They themselves said so.
Friday I was at your brother’s party and on Sunday I visited your sister.
I also have new friends because your friends all have a left side with things they lost –you– and a right side that sometimes includes me.
Left lists that I’ve lost a house sitter, a cat sitter, that there’ll be no more trips to the vet together.
That I saw recently how happy you were is a minus on the left and on the right just fine.
Including: the dead plant on your desk that wasn’t really dead.
The pencil breaks, I sharpen my nails red.
I watched him die. But that’s not all I saw.
Only recently I spotted him out on the canal.
A little balder, but this man lying on the bier,
oddly, didn't exactly resemble him either.
Who’s to say he was one or the other.
Who says I cannot hold him.
With two hands we touched his body.
White first, then grey. Somewhere under his skin
something stopped flowing, something slipped by,
something waned. We saw it all. Him. Hollowed.
We can see it all through the window,
or looking up. Even though he’s gone, he’s here. In
his frame on top of the piano. Every time you
cycle down his street. We see his voice, his blood,
his eyes in others. This is his body we followed.