So Long Lives This and This Gives Life to Thee
She left her false teeth in the courthouse
after signing the divorce papers. She didn’t
mind. She could smoke like a chimney when they were out.
Eight Saturdays ago she told you there was a sale
at the junkyard
and you couldn’t say no to that chandelier of a smile
when she said get in the car
loser we’re going shopping.
The elastic forest she called an apartment
was furnished with an oven,
an iPad, a couch and a bowl.
You offered to take her
to the store and buy her
eating utensils but she shrugged
always, saying it was her duty
to live in semi-bohemian poverty.
She once bumped your typewriter with her hip,
saying you should have become a lawyer or
an aerial ballet instructor, anything
but a writer. She crossed out every
noun on the page with a needle and set you
to the task of making pure word manure.
A pint of cough medicine sloshed
into her user interface and massaged the toffee
in her stomach until you found her
decaying in the bathtub.
You told her family
you were an old tennis buddy
and placed under her stiff fingers the brooch
she had given you as a token of appreciation.
You punched her ex-husband when he called her
a sow at the dinner afterwards.
She willed you everything but
the bowl, that went to her old college buddies.
You burned all her bras behind
the doughnut shop
as she had asked and
sprinkled her ashes into an encyclopedia
now you have nothing to do but sit in your apartment,
without tears, drinking orange juice, hugging
her favorite wedding gown and waiting
for the aluminum forks in the microwave to spark.