I’m getting far too deft at elegies,

at details that would force a poet’s hand

beyond the scope of frequent remedies–

the holy dose of pills, the strict demands

of alcoholic legacies. I write the hurt

that lingers afterwards, the useless words

that will not bring these poets back, the curt

unwieldy passions that will go unheard

by ghosts I can’t convince to visit me.

Why would their restless spirits come and play

beneath the raging of my grief, no glee

intact when I am speaking of their days?

No couplet can replace the lives now missed.

No poetry is worth a severed wrist.

Photo by Garrett Coakley