Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Poem: "Unbearable Lightness" (DGJ)

I stumble upstairs and climb into bed undone,
A long day of hours and sadness behind me.
In a mobile home, an old man lies dying,
His mouth parched, his wife powerless 
But present to her sorrow, and to his passing.
In a ratty jail cell, far away, a young man weeps,
His hands, the weapons of a cynical war;
His legacy, bloody mayhem in a Texas school.

The old black cat jumps upon the bed now,
To my sorry side, nuzzling my achy hipbone,
Ritual of recognition, affection, sweet supplication.
And I find her now, my hand across her shiny brow,
This friend, this promise, this pilgrim in my darkness.

At last we drift off, to sleep, to meet other dreams,
And my hand lies flat upon the mattress, exhausted.
And the old black cat curls up just there, just there,
Resting her tiny fragile holy head upon my fingers.
And we drift off, just like that, the old cat and I;
She, content in the way of cats and lovers,
Me, remembering a novel I read years and years ago.

Something about heartbreak and love,  
Something about the unbearable lightness of being.

Her tiny head, the soft underside of her gullet,
Rests there on my hand, on my fingers, on my hurt.

DGJ, 5/22/18

"Fenway" (our sweet black cat)