Ann Kjellberg, founding editor of Little Star, an annual journal of poetry and prose, and Little Star Weekly, its mobile app version, will be offering a poem every Sunday this spring. This is her second post.
I wore his hat
as if it was the rumpled coat
of his body, like I could put it on.
The coat of his hair, of his brain, its glitter
he gave it to me, something he’d worn.
He didn’t touch his dog, touch was too much,
he didn’t let her go.
I felt his hat on my head, like a hand,
though his hat was on the floor, just by my chair.
I went on drinking water
as if there was more water.
I went on living on earth
as if there was still life
like an islander my island
like a calving iceberg, air
like its glitter
by my chair
I thought I’d have to listen, hard,
I didn’t even swallow.
But nothing from you stopped.
After: Isn’t there something
Isn’t there something in me
like the dogs I’ve heard at home
who bark all night from hunger? Something
in me like trains leaving,
isn’t there something in me
like a gun? I wanted to be
loud squirrels, around the trees’ feet,
bees, coming back & back
to the wooden porch,
wanting something—and wooden planks,
wanting something. To go back into
I want to go back to you,
who when you were dying said
“There are one or two people you don’t want to
let go of.” Here too, where I don’t let go of you.
After: Down on the street
Down on the street
a man’s voice, every night at ten—
God God God I love you God
Halleluia God God
Everyone breathing hard to get through,
to get through soon to the air,
a word in everybody’s mouth—
You must have trusted some word
that time in that half-underwater cave
when you dove and came up someplace else,
and called to me, Come on