The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Richard Weaver

Last Night at Turiya

                in memoriam Nuria Rose Wright
                      August 7 1985 - March 13 1999

 

Goodnight Rose. Goodnight.

Goodnight miniature horses whose wings sprouted
from your shoulders, and who drift away now
cloud-like, balloon-like,
like you, unafraid of air.

Goodnight laugh that even your twin
brother could not imitate,
which part kiss,
which part dream?

Goodnight oxygen.
Goodnight Spring sky.
Goodnight eyes that saw
each other in the wingless Durango mountains
and woke in the moonscape of Arizona.

Goodnight chocolate and rubber bands
stretching across the Atlantic.

Goodnight Chevy older than you
driven down the red clay ruts
of Bee Branch road
without your mother knowing.

Goodnight Colonel Mustard in the kitchen
suspiciously with a lead pipe
and Mrs. White pretending to innocence.

Goodnight hair once waist long
and heavy enough to keep you
anchored on earth for years to come.

Goodnight dreams
caught fresh from the sea,
repeated each morning before breakfast,
gathered and sorted like bright shells.

Good night beach. Goodnight waves
and white sand, castles singing into the tide.

Goodnight pelicans sifting the sunset
with blazing wings, and sand crabs
netted after dark in the fading beam
of a borrowed flashlight.

Goodnight body you could not change
and which did not change who you are
even in death.

Goodnight doe that woke you in Colorado
disguised as your brother Joseph,
saying your time had not yet come
to step across the rainbow bridge.

Goodnight room.
Goodnight brother's bed.
Goodnight things gathered with Ben's hand
and placed like candles burning
around your still body.

Goodnight soul touching us all.

Goodnight mobiles made from champagne
corks, feathers and light.

Goodnight day.
Goodnight afternoons when the trampoline
freed you from this resident earth,
the air holding you in its arms, your hair
floating, weightless as dawn.

Goodnight hair caressing the curved spine
and risen shoulder, the scapula's
slow kiss of bone against bone.

Goodnight summer's overalls.
Green, blue, lavender ceremonies.

Goodnight mistletoe plundered
and awakened with a stranger's kiss.

Goodnight porpoises whose arched spines
grace the horizon at the sea's center.

Goodnight glass jar heavy with coins
saved for a horse with a heart
cresting like a river.

Goodnight apple and horse, sugar bay.
Goodnight stray dogs, wolves and cats, hedgehogs,
turtle and snakes, fish and fowl.

Goodnight owls whoing unseen.

Goodnight light, your secret fire,
the single morning ember from which
morning lifted, blind blessing.

Goodnight foot dropping
slowly in its own time, reluctant
shadow, wayward twin.

Goodnight reggae dancing at Live Bait
with Cynthia and Momma,
whirling the New Year in,
fog hugging all of us in the hot tub.

Goodnight Jamil, beautiful singer
whose voice filled the sweat lodge
with harmony beyond burnt sage,
wisdom beyond thyme.

Goodnight one last joke:
How do you make holy water?
Boil the hell out of it!

Goodnight paddleboat churning
across Lake Tuscaloosa,
chasing your twin and friend Westbrook
with the wind their ally.

Goodnight Georgia dog.
100 pounds of friendliness.
100 wags of tail
knocking you to the wood deck.

Goodnight bi-pap, noisy neighbor,
hurricane you wore to breathe
the rich, pure oxygen your lungs craved.
Machine you once shared with Cynthia
who is wise in these things
and who shops, you say, like a rich woman.

Goodnight Ra Ra, whose art
escorted your words off the page
and into the world outside,
and whose patient hands guided the scissors
that cut your hair's naked weight.

Goodnight Stinko, adopted aunt,
confidant, blood friend,
curator of hope, bearer of hummingbird dreams.

Goodnight black olives,
ripened planets orbiting the tongue.

Goodnight creek and treehouse,
laurel and pine, hazelnut and sycamore.

Goodnight black hightop sneakers
and red laces refusing to stay tied.

Goodnight hats.
Goodnight whirling shawl dance.
Goodnight earrings chosen
after hours of dust, days of dreaming,
the single exacting memory piercing
silver and turquoise, overflowing.

Goodnight friend Ilona, fellow traveler,
and keeper of lavender clouds.
Who will wake the moon now?
Who will remember the blackberries' pajamas?
And who will visit the fire
after the smoke has been harvested?
You. Best friend.

Goodnight green algae, alpha and omega.

Goodnight Momma
whose eyes saw beyond.
Whose eyes still sing.
Whose hands laugh.
Who holds me like the ocean.

Goodnight rain hammering a tinroof
in Cottondale, Alabama, rain rinsing
the shadows from your long day home.

Goodnight Rose.
Goodnight.

 

 

 

RICHARD WEAVER lives in Baltimore Maryland where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank. His book, The Stars Undone, was taken from a larger collection about the Mississippi artist, Walter Anderson. Four poems became the libretto for a symphony,  composed by Eric Ewazen of Juilliard, and performed four times to date.

Some of his 2016 publications included: Allegro, Conjunctions, Crack the spine, Dead Mule, Kestrel, MPQR, OffCourse, Quiddity, Southern Quarterly, Steel Toe, Literateur, & Triggerfish.

 

 

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