Note: I live in Wakefield, Massachusetts and teach at Boston University. My most recent book is Petites Suites. Here are two unseasonable pieces for May, in A-minor and B-minor.
A Moment’s Change
Imagine her coming into the room
smiling because she knows you still love
her; how then that smile shrivels
promptly as Mojave mariposas.
You cock your head, your eyebrows rise.
She whispers the prognosis then
turns so you can’t see her eyes.
In one moment, gladness; the next,
despair; your beating heart instantly
vacuumed to a void.
Reading your text
in a silent house beneath your
shaded lamp, spring’s solitude curdles
to wintry loneliness. Never mind that you
haven’t shifted an inch or that,
on the mantel, the brazen clock
hasn’t sounded one tick, one tock.
The Toothpaste Squeezed at Both Ends
At twenty, even forty, you never ask
yourself how many more autumns are left,
the leaves’ dying spectacle, the sober
feel of wool and earnestness of tweed,
rushing to class, to work, out into the world.
When you only need one hand to reckon,
then everybody’s an actuary.
And now, even your child’s childhood
contracts to a half-dozen memories
of moments: an Aphrodite born from
a blizzard, a piano lesson, a few
reckless words in the car you’d never think
would prove indelible. Melancholy
to feel the past shrivel, the future shrink.
© 2018 Robert Wexelblatt
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