For N & K

Gina Myers

Otis on vinyl
carries from
the barn. Blessed
is this day. The camera
captures us youthful
& triumphant.
Blessed be this day,
a celebration
of friends coming
together. Last night,
surrounded by
those I love, I had wanted
to read Berrigan's
"Words For Love,"
but I didn't want to say
the heart breaks, even though I know
it's true & the breaking
can be a good thing
sometimes, like the way
my heart shatters
a little each time
I think of my friends
& how lucky in life
I've been to get
to know them, to have
had the time to laugh &
drink & dance & to argue
& feel hurt too.
How can one possibly
say everything
that should be said?
These feelings
just feelings, not
defined by words.
To be overwhelmed,
caught in a whirlwind
& up to one's
ankles in the creek
as lightning bugs
polka-dot the sky
& Otis, again Otis,
always Otis in my
memory, provides
the soundtrack.
Not every day
can be a good day
but this is one
of them, one
of the best days.

Related Poems

Record

Late night July, Minnesota,
John asleep on the glassed-in porch,
Bob Dylan quiet on a cassette


you made from an album
I got rid of soon after
you died.  Years later,


I regret giving up
your two boxes of vinyl,
which I loved.  Surely


they were too awkward,
too easily broken
for people who loved music


the way we did.  But tonight
I’m in the mood for ghosts,
for sounds we hated: pop,


scratch, hiss, the occasional
skip.  The curtains balloon;
I’ve got a beer; I’m struck


by guilt, watching you
from a place ten years away,
kneeling and cleaning each


with a velvet brush before 
and after, tucking them in
their sleeves.  Understand,


I was still moving then.
The boxes were heavy.
If I had known



I would stop here
with a husband to help me
carry, and room—too late,


the college kids pick over
your black bones on Mass. Ave.,
we’ll meet again some day


on the avenue but still,
I want to hear it,
the needle hitting the end


of a side and playing silence
until the arm gives up,
pulls away.