In early spring and summer, especially, I remember. I had a friend, a bold, morose, brilliant and lovely friend. We had plans, but then he died. This year, it’s four years. Trying to express the joy and the loss and the peculiar nature of memory which eliminates the day to day but leaves sharp, bright moments, I’ve attempted a sonnet. In some measure, I’ve succeeded.
I, careful miser, that I am, shall hoard
These diamond memories in a sacred vault.
And while I watchful stand, their jealous guard
I’ll take them up to handle and to hold
Between my fingers. Raised against the sky
I’ll catch, imprisoned, refracted in the deeps
The suns of yesterday’s light in memory.
In this sequestered way, I fondly keep
The careful count of treasure here. But now
The bloodshot miser’s lot is left to me
As I, enshrouded in my grief, am found
More deeply buried in grave misery.
My hoard, tho’ undiminished and undimmed,
Shall ne’er increase. I am bereft of him.
The only trouble is, the subject himself would laugh immoderately at my sentiments. His was an elegantly refined sense of the ridiculous that preyed on sentimentality. And that was something I loved about him! I would have to defend my feelings; they’re not sentimental! I argue, but really, to no avail. Such melodrama only ever made him laugh. Here is my dashed off attempt at his profane (as in, trouncing on the holy ground of my finer feelings) version of the same. This one he would certainly prefer, and so, to be frank…do I.
I, deluded madman that I am, shall hoard
These bits of carbon in a dusty tub.
And while I stand, inevitably bored
I’ll pinch one ‘twixt my fingertips and rub.
Unsurprisingly, I’ll have to curse
For now, my hands are covered all with black
The situation out from here gets worse
There is no water here to wash. Alack!
And so disgruntled, dirty and alone
I sit here, keeping track of other’s jewels
What I wouldn’t give for a cell phone
I’d call my Ma and tell her I’m a fool.
Oh well, too bad, it’s too late for me now
She doesn’t love me now, she loves her cow.