After a Long Absence
I visit my friend. The wound
of his wifes death is closing
he wills it to closeyet
he needs the gash to remain open,
if only the width of a paper cut.
He needs to heal but cant
let the pain escape him
this being that has grown
so close, that has held him
when no one else remembered,
that takes into its rigid fingers
all reason to live.
Its been nearly a year, but
her face will not cease to wake him,
her voice will not fade to a hum.
He is condemned to live, to rise
on a November morning, his mouth
filled with the lilt of speech
from a womans mouth.
© Charles Fishman