for the dead

For the Dead
by A Rich
I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer
The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself
I have always wondered about the leftover
energy, water rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the read coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
then you wish they were
sitting there after midnight

0 thoughts on “for the dead

  1. Adrienne Rich? This is very good. “read coals” is kind of a strange use of homophone, but it transforms the figurative language of the last stanza into something more concrete, i.e. the poem’s addressee up late mulling over thoughts of whatever he’s been reading. Which then relates back to the previous stanza. The poem unfolds in reverse, and I like that.

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