Sorrowful Friends

Original Text: 
David Zieroth, The Fly in Autumn (Vancouver: Harbour Publishing, 2009).
1They will always be with us, with their news
2of calamity that makes our chests
3    feel some old collapse of our own, a protest
4    against divergence, a bruise
5on last bits of skin we thought still fresh
6and fairly managing the task of the presenting flesh
7to a world aimed at it. Not just sticks and stones,
8those wounds heal in not too deep,
9    but the injury that makes us weep,
10    the one from loving lips, moans
11remembered and annulled now by the hard
12angle of someone leaving, and someone scarred.
14that will give them solace. ."I too have suffered."
15    hardly counts as any useful buffer
16    against the loss of we and loss of touch.
17Before long, I'll meet each on the street, one here
18and another there, on separate days, in a different year.


13] What can I say to my friends?: Poet's footnote ...
Practise speaking what needs to be said.
Let the old words go, let them fall away
like last year's leaves, their last day
forgotten: let them be dead
You need a new tongue now
to savour once and then disavow

forever those love poems mouthed at night,
the joy of saying wet nouns,
verbs that sounded
true, the delight
you assumed was ever-meant hands on one another, purely spent.

Find your former selves in dreams
where passion-paired once more
you share the pouring
thoughts that need no streams
of words to work--But for now you must
change your life, give up speaking dust. Back to Line

RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © David Zieroth. Written permission is required to republish the poem.