Tuesday, March 15, 2011


You always kept some water by the bed
in case you woke up thirsty in the night.
I still remember that—and how the light
cut fault-lines through the glass. And once you said
you felt just like the white stray cat you fed
with scraps on paper plates you left outside.
When she stopped coming round, Lord, how you cried—
the water down your face, eyes puffed and red.

I think sometimes about the night you tried
to make me say I loved you—how the bright
blue tears stood in your eyes, where gold light bled
its heart-breaking refraction; how the sight
drew out my ugly truth; and how instead,
now knowing what I owe—I should have lied.


Happy birthday, Berta, wherever you are.

Original version on The Sonnet Project, December 29, 2006 (link)
Published at The Hypertexts, November 2008 (link)