The sun rears her unlikely head
In this late spring,
I walk past rubber black boots decorated
With brightly colored umbrellas
In a useless attempt to block the rain.
Up the subway to 14th street
Around the corner to 12th
I climb to the tenth or the eighth floor
Depending on your bodily condition.
I keep vigil over this resting.
My body is a candle, glowing
Until you make the transition
Back into or out of this life.
This is among the things that could happen.
This is among the things that happened.
For now, you reside in imposed silence.
Dying is just another commodity and
The soul wants routine.
The soul wants sameness, boredom.
The soul wants letting go.
Over us, the palmed stars.
About This Poem
"'The sun rears' is part of a series of poems from my forthcoming collection, 'Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography.' Dedicated to my friend Dion, who passed away from complications due to AIDS, the poem follows a trajectory of concrete actions surrounding illness, vigilance and grief. Through recording these actions the poem makes a vessel for emotions."
About Jennifer Bartlett Jennifer Bartlett is the author of "Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography" (theenk books, 2014). She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
*** The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2014 Jennifer Bartlett. Distributed by King Features Syndicate