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About this Poem 

“‘The sun rears’ is part of a series of poems from my forthcoming collection, Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography. Dedicated to my friend Dion, who passed away from complications due to AIDS, the poem follows a trajectory of concrete actions surrounding illness, vigilance, and grief. Through recording these actions the poem makes a vessel for emotions.”

—Jennifer Bartlett

The sun rears

Jennifer Bartlett

The sun rears her unlikely head
In this late spring,
I walk past rubber black boots decorated
With brightly colored umbrellas
In a useless attempt to block the rain.

Up the subway to 14th street
Around the corner to 12th
I climb to the tenth or the eighth floor
Depending on your bodily condition.

I keep vigil over this resting.
My body is a candle, glowing
Until you make the transition
Back into or out of this life.

This is among the things that could happen.
This is among the things that happened.
For now, you reside in imposed silence.
Dying is just another commodity and

The soul wants routine.
The soul wants sameness, boredom.
The soul wants letting go.

Over us, the palmed stars.
 

Copyright @ 2014 by Jennifer Bartlett. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 13, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Jennifer Bartlett. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 13, 2014.

Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett is the author of Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography (theenk books, 2014). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.