the note said

there is no need

for peripheral plot

or overloaded metaphor

for timid parentheses

or non-committal ellipses now

no need for passive-aggressive footnotes

hidden below the surface

no eyes will condemn

the truth

such forgiveness and humanity is

reserved for the dead and dying


but wait I am still here I am here

holding the book fragile

and afraid to see my literature stripped

bare to meaning

and now without notice my editor

has left me too she passed away

and buried herself

with you eternally devoted

unwilling to preserve

my sense and sensibility


is she with you sharing secrets

I can feel her vicious slice

bleeding me cutting away the kindness

of literary discretion and excising the

punctuation that stapled me closed

exposing the wound and the tattered diary

hidden within

tear-stained yellowed pages a pressed rose

and the leaves of October

that never faded

because I always loved you.








She had

very little

in her cart

and she was

poking at pockets

searching for papers

and coins

in her wallet

and robbing me

of my time

when a plastic

accordian of photographs

fell to the conveyor belt

and I noticed a snapshot

of her with a man

they were smiling

he had his arm around her

and she showed the cashier

who said something

and touched her



then she unloaded

her basket and

she had

a bouquet

of carnations and daisies

a steak

two tomatoes

a head of lettuce




ear of corn

and I suddenly felt ashamed

and I wondered

if she noticed

and she looked at me

full of sorrow

knowing I knew

at once,

She had.