One Poem from Karen Douglass
Spouse, the word curtseys to him
between the kiss at the altar and
the hiss of tires on a hearse, but
he lives beside her ashes in a blue urn,
buckled shut. What if
he poured them out on a tray,
left the tray on the balcony
so that wind could scatter her pain,
the bandages and medicine, all that
paraphernalia of a sick wife?
Who would care? Not
the tourist strolling Blvd. St. Germain,
not curates or cousins. Friends would
go on making tea, eating chocolate.
Her story finished, a younger pair
could have the apartment,
if he dared to move her,
agile and aching for him, but
she’s in a blue vase on the shelf
and he still lives beside her.
Karen Douglass’s books include Red Goddess Poems; Bones in the Chimney (fiction); Green Rider, Thinking Horse (non-fiction); and Sostenuto, (poems) and The Great Hunger (poems), which is available from Plain View Press (2009).