Monday, July 15, 2013

Emily D's Lover

At Emily's In Amherst

by David Ray

On this day of our visit they are spraying the attic
for spiders, hoping to kill a black widow or two,
and I know she would not like that.

Outside, standing between cypresses, I imagine her
as a girl, playing in cool shadows, little Emily
struck through the heart with an icicle of loneliness.

Upstairs, her tiny bed, the white dress with pearl buttons,
and the bureau where she left the poems
folded, each with a stitch or two of blue thread.

I look across the field to where they carried her
on a door, as if to a bed with wrought iron railings.
There she lies silent while we fall to our knees, speak to her.

Sipping wine from the dandelions of her yard, I ask her
about the lover, if there was one. And I feel certain
I am that lover, all she could look forward to.

Yet I am not such a bad choice. I sit devoted for hours,
loving her well, sharing the wine, the growing darkness,
and I promise to come back, to think of her always.

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